Same eyes, different doctors

Differences in primary care physician referrals for diabetic retinopathy screening

Emmanuel N. Lazaridis, Chunfu Qiu, Stephanie K. Kraft, David Marrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE - To analyze eye care specialist referral patterns for the diabetic patients of primary care physicians. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - In 1993, we conducted a census of primary care physicians to evaluate practice patterns relating to diabetes care in the state of Indiana. Using a logistic regression model and data from this census, we compared 1) physicians' odds of referring type II diabetic patients to an optometrist, as opposed to an ophthalmologist, with those of type I diabetic patients and 2) the referral odds ratios of type II to type I diabetic patients between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties. RESULTS - Overall, 10% of the physicians in our study most often refer some patients to an optometrist. Physicians are more likely to refer their type II diabetic patients to an optometrist, as opposed to an ophthalmologist, than they are to refer type I diabetic patients, both before and after adjustment for covariates. Physicians who practice in metropolitan counties are 1.55 times more likely to refer their type II diabetic patients than their type I diabetic patients to an optometrist. In nonmetropolitan counties, physicians are 2.5 times more likely to refer their type II diabetic patterns to an optometrist. The difference between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan physicians is significant (P = 0.027). CONCLUSIONS - Some physicians mostly refer their diabetic patients to optometrists, instead of ophthalmologists, for eye examinations intended to discover early signs of diabetic eye disease. Type II diabetic patients are more likely to be referred to an optometrist, instead of an ophthalmologist, than are type I diabetic patients. In nonmetropolitan areas, the difference in referral patterns becomes even more marked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1077
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes Care
Volume20
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

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Primary Care Physicians
Diabetic Retinopathy
Referral and Consultation
Physicians
Censuses
Logistic Models
Eye Diseases
Optometrists
Patient Care
Research Design
Odds Ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Same eyes, different doctors : Differences in primary care physician referrals for diabetic retinopathy screening. / Lazaridis, Emmanuel N.; Qiu, Chunfu; Kraft, Stephanie K.; Marrero, David.

In: Diabetes Care, Vol. 20, No. 7, 07.1997, p. 1073-1077.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lazaridis, Emmanuel N. ; Qiu, Chunfu ; Kraft, Stephanie K. ; Marrero, David. / Same eyes, different doctors : Differences in primary care physician referrals for diabetic retinopathy screening. In: Diabetes Care. 1997 ; Vol. 20, No. 7. pp. 1073-1077.
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