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Cost and detection rate of glaucoma screening with imaging devices in a primary care center

Authors Anton A, Fallon M, Cots F, Sebastian MA, Morilla-Grasa A, Mojal S, Castells X

Received 22 August 2016

Accepted for publication 8 November 2016

Published 16 February 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 337—346


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Alfonso Anton,1–4 Monica Fallon,3,5 Francesc Cots,2 María A Sebastian,6 Antonio Morilla-Grasa,4 Sergi Mojal,3 Xavier Castells2

1Medicine School, Universidad Internacional de Cataluña, 2Servei d’Estudies, Parc de Salut Mar, 3Instituto Hospital del Mar de Investigaciones Médicas (IMIM), 4Glaucoma Department, Instituto Catalán de Retina (ICR), 5Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 6Centro de Atención Primaria Larrard, Barcelona, Spain

Purpose: To analyze the cost and detection rate of a screening program for detecting glaucoma with imaging devices.
Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional study, a glaucoma screening program was applied in a population-based sample randomly selected from a population of 23,527. Screening targeted the population at risk of glaucoma. Examinations included optic disk tomography (Heidelberg retina tomograph [HRT]), nerve fiber analysis, and tonometry. Subjects who met at least 2 of 3 endpoints (HRT outside normal limits, nerve fiber index ≥30, or tonometry ≥21 mmHg) were referred for glaucoma consultation. The currently established (“conventional”) detection method was evaluated by recording data from primary care and ophthalmic consultations in the same population. The direct costs of screening and conventional detection were calculated by adding the unit costs generated during the diagnostic process. The detection rate of new glaucoma cases was assessed.
Results: The screening program evaluated 414 subjects; 32 cases were referred for glaucoma consultation, 7 had glaucoma, and 10 had probable glaucoma. The current detection method assessed 677 glaucoma suspects in the population, of whom 29 were diagnosed with glaucoma or probable glaucoma. Glaucoma screening and the conventional detection method had detection rates of 4.1% and 3.1%, respectively, and the cost per case detected was 1,410 and 1,435€, respectively. The cost of screening 1 million inhabitants would be 5.1 million euros and would allow the detection of 4,715 new cases.
Conclusion: The proposed screening method directed at population at risk allows a detection rate of 4.1% and a cost of 1,410 per case detected.

Keywords: screening, glaucoma, cost, imaging devices, detection rate

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