Programming Care for Diabetes Patients

Study finds disease-management programs improve care for diabetes patients

(RxWiki News) According to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, French researchers have found that disease-management programs can improve care for diabetes patients.

The study found that disease-management programs - which can include patient education, psychological intervention, dietary education, self-monitoring, and telemedicine - reduce glycated hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients with poor glycemic control more effectively than the usual care.

Analyzing 41 randomized controlled trials published between 1990 and 2009, the researchers used data from 7013 patients.

In addition to discovering the benefits of disease-management programs, they found that the frequency at which a patient sees a doctor affects the level of glycated hemoglobin. The more often a patient visits a doctor, the greater the impact on glycated hemoglobin.

"We found that the ability of disease managers to start or modify medical treatment was an effective feature of disease-management programs," write Dr. Clément Pimouguet, Centre de recherche en épidémiologie et biostatistique, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, France, and coauthors. "This has important implications, because nonadherence to medical treatment is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality and hospital admission among patients with diabetes."

Speaking to the relevance of their research, the study's authors conclude that their findings address the delivery of diabetes care and give direction to further research. They add that more research is necessary in order to know the long-term effects of disease-management programs, whether the programs can help patients with non-stabilized diabetes, and to determine the cost-effectiveness of such programs.

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Review Date: 
December 15, 2010