Implementation of a Screening Procedure for Pre-diabetes (Population Ages 19 and Older) in the Primary Care Setting

When she was a Creighton University nurse practitioner student, Abbey Modlin saw an 18-year-old female with abdominal pain, and happened to notice dark skin on the back of her neck indicative of excess insulin. On a hunch, she asked if the patient had a family history of diabetes. She did.

“That patient was the person who drove my thoughts on the importance of early screening for pre-diabetes — regardless of the chief complaint,” Modlin said. “She was a prime candidate.”

The resulting research for Modlin’s DNP-FNP degree looked at whether the CDC screening tool for pre-diabetes was appropriate for the clinic setting, and was completed at Mercy Family Care in Perry, Iowa, and the Mercy Panora Clinic in Panora, Iowa.

“The tool takes less than a minute,” she said. “But it’s often missed due to time constraints in the clinic.” In her study, 79 percent of patients scored high enough on the screening tool to receive pre-diabetes education.

Modlin’s conclusion: the tool is useful to start the conversation about pre-diabetes with appropriate patients. “I’ve always used the term ‘planting the seed,” she said.

Modlin presented her findings at the Creighton College of Nursing Iota Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society Annual Research Day in May.

Abbey Modlin, DNP-FNP