Participant and GP perspectives and experiences of screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in community pharmacy during the Pharmacy Diabetes Screening Trial

Ines Krass, Michael J. Twigg, Bernadette Mitchell, Frances Wilson, Mohammadreza Mohebbi, Peta Trinder, Sophy T. F. Shih, Rob Carter, Vincent L. Versace, Kevin McNamara

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Background: The Pharmacy Diabetes Screening Trial (PDST) evaluated three approaches to screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in community pharmacy: (1) paper-based risk assessment (AUSDRISK) alone; and AUSDRISK followed by a point of care test if AUSDRISK >12; with either (2) HbA1c; or (3) small capillary blood glucose Test (scBGT). This paper reports the perspectives and experiences of the pharmacy screening service of two key stakeholder groups: screening participants and general practitioners (GPs).  

Methods: All referred participants (n=2242) received an online survey to determine the outcome of the referral, as well as their level of satisfaction with the service. In addition, a random sample of 2,989 (20%) of non-referred participants were surveyed to determine their overall experience and level of satisfaction with the service. GPs to whom participants were referred were contacted to establish if, since the date of the screening service, their patient had (1) been to see them; (2) had further tests performed (FBG, RBG, OGTT, HbA1c); or (3) been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. Descriptive statistics were reported for quantitative data. Factors associated with visiting the GP following screening were assessed using multivariable logistic regression. Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis.  

Results: Response rates 16% (n=369) and 17% (n=520) were achieved for the three-month referred and non-referred participant surveys, respectively. Over 90% of respondents were very positive about the screening service (n=784/853) and would recommend it to a family member or friend (n=784/853). Participants also reported making significant improvements in diet and exercise, because of the screening. Among referred respondents, those who received a POC test were twice as likely to visit their GP compared to those who received a risk assessment only (OR 2.11 95% CI 1.46-3.06). GPs (15.8% response rate, n=57/361)) indicated that the referral worked well and that recommendations for follow-up care by the pharmacist were appropriate.  

Conclusion: Opportunistic screening of individuals during routine encounters with the community pharmacy in a previously undiagnosed population has been shown to foster positive engagement with consumers and GPs, which may assist in reducing the burden of T2DM on the individual and the community.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1337
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Community pharmacy
  • GP perspectives
  • GP referral
  • Opportunistic screening
  • Point-of-care
  • Screening participant experiences
  • Type 2 diabetes

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