Impact of Intersecting Systems of Oppression on Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Among Those Who Identify as Women of Low Socioeconomic Status: Protocol for a Convergent Mixed Methods Study
JMIR Res Protoc. 2021 Mar 5;10(3):e23492. doi: 10.2196/23492.
BACKGROUND: By 2025, 5 million Canadians will be diagnosed with diabetes, and women from lower socioeconomic groups will likely account for most new diagnoses. Diabetic retinopathy is a primary vision complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among adults, with 26% prevalence among women. Tele-retina is a branch of telemedicine that delivers eye care remotely. Screening for diabetic retinopathy has great potential to reduce the incidence of blindness, yet there is an adverse association among screening, income, and gender.
OBJECTIVE: We aim to explore gender disparity in the provision of tele-retina program services for diabetic retinopathy screening in a cohort of women of low socioeconomic status (SES) receiving services in South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC) between 2014 and 2019.
METHODS: Using a convergent mixed methods design, we want to understand patients’, providers’, administrators’, and decision makers’ perceptions of the facilitators and barriers associated with the implementation and adoption of tele-retina. Multivariate logistic regression will be utilized to assess the association among client characteristics, referral source, and diabetic retinopathy screening. Guided by a grounded theory approach, systematic coding of data and thematic analysis will be utilized to identify key facilitators and barriers to the implementation and adoption of tele-retina.
RESULTS: For the quantitative component, we anticipate a cohort of 2500 patients, and we expect to collect data on the overall patterns of tele-retina program use, including descriptions of program utilization rates (such as data on received and completed diabetic retinopathy screening referrals) along the landscape of patient populations receiving these services. For the qualitative component, we plan to interview up to 21 patients and 14 providers, administrators, and decision makers, and to conduct up to 14 hours of observations alongside review of relevant documents. The interview guide is being developed in collaboration with our patient partners. Through the use of mixed methods research, the inquiry will be approached from different perspectives. Mixed methods will guide us in combining the rich subjective insights on complex realities from qualitative inquiry with the standard generalizable data that will be generated through quantitative research. The study is under review by the University Health Network Research Ethics Board (19-5628). We expect to begin recruitment in winter 2021.
CONCLUSIONS: In Ontario, the screening rate for diabetic retinopathy among low income groups remains below 65%. Understanding the facilitators and barriers to diabetic retinopathy screening may be a prerequisite in the development of a successful screening program. This study is the first Ontario study to focus on diabetic retinopathy screening practices in women of low SES, with the aim to improve their health outcomes and revolutionize access to quality care.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/23492.
PMID:33666559 | DOI:10.2196/23492
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