From the conservative estimates of registrants with the National Diabetes Supply Scheme, we will be soon passing 1.1 Million Australians affected by all types of diabetes. The diabetes complications of foot ulceration and amputation are costly to all. These costs can be reduced with appropriate prevention strategies, starting with identifying people at risk through primary care diabetic foot screening. However, levels of diabetic foot screening in Australia are difficult to quantify.
This presentation reports on foot screening rates as recorded in the academic literature, national health surveys and national database reports. The focus is on type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults, and not gestational diabetes or children with diabetes. Literature searches included diabetic foot screening that occurred in the primary care setting for populations over 2000 people from 2002 to 2014. Searches were performed using Medline and CINAHL as well as internet searches of OECD health databases. The primary outcome measure was foot -screening rates as a percentage of adult diabetic population.
The lack of a national diabetes database and mandatory register hampers efforts to analyse diabetic foot screening levels. The most recent and accurate estimates of diabetic foot screening in the Australian population came from the 2004 AUSDIAB (Australian Diabetes and lifestyle survey). This survey reported screening in primary care to be as low as 50%. Countries such as the United Kingdom and United States of America report much higher rates of foot screening (67-88%) using national databases and web -based initiatives that involve patients and clinicians.
Australian rates of diabetic foot screening in primary care centres is ambiguous. Uptake of national registers, incentives and web based systems improve levels of diabetic foot assessment which are the first steps to a healthier diabetic population.