A randomized trial of regular standardized telephone contact by a diabetes nurse educator in adolescents with poor diabetes control.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine the effect of regular standardized telephone contact by a diabetes nurse educator (DNE) on metabolic control, treatment compliance, and quality of life in adolescents with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes.
A single-blinded 6-month randomized controlled trial was used. Participants included 46 of 49 eligible adolescents (13-17 yr) with type 1 diabetes >1-yr duration and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) >8.5% for the previous 6 months. Subjects were randomly assigned to 6 months of standard diabetes management or standard care plus weekly telephone contact by a DNE. Telephone conversations included review of events in the adolescents' lives and diabetes education, but the primary focus was on blood glucose results and insulin-dose adjustments. HbA1c, compliance with glucose monitoring, quality of life [Diabetes Quality of Life Scale for Youth (DQOLY)], and family functioning [Family Environment Scale (FES)] were assessed at baseline, and at 3 and 6 months. Posthoc, HbA1c levels were assessed 6 months following study completion.
Six months of regular telephone contact by a DNE had no immediate effect on any of the outcome measures. However, posthoc 6 months, HbA1c levels decreased (1% change compared to baseline) in 6/21 of the study group and 0/18 of the control group, while HbA1c increased in 4/21 of study subjects compared to 8/18 of control subjects (p = 0.015).
In contrast to adult studies, regular telephone contact did not lead to immediate improvements in metabolic control in adolescents with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. However, knowledge and skills gained during the intervention may have had a delayed beneficial effect in these high-risk adolescents.
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ABSTRACT: Diabetic patients taking insulin often have suboptimal glucose control, and standard methods of health care delivery are ineffective in improving such control. This study was undertaken to determine if insulin adjustment according to advice provided by telephone by a diabetes nurse educator could lead to better glucose control, as indicated by level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). The authors conducted a prospective randomized trial involving 46 insulin-requiring diabetic patients who had poor glucose control (HbA1c of 0.085 or more). Eligible patients were those already taking insulin and receiving endocrinologist-directed care through a diabetes centre and whose most recent HbA1c level was 0.085 or higher. The patients were randomly assigned to receive standard care or to have regular telephone contact with a diabetes nurse educator for advice about adjustment of insulin therapy. At baseline there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups in terms of HbA1c level (mean [and standard deviation] for standard-care group 0.094 [0.008] and for intervention group 0.096 [0.010]), age, sex, type or duration of diabetes, duration of insulin therapy or complications. After 6 months, the mean HbA1c level in the standard-care group was 0.089 (0.010), which was not significantly different from the mean level at baseline. However, the mean HbA1c level in the intervention group had fallen to 0.078 (0.008), which was significantly lower than both the level at baseline for that group (p < 0.001) and the level for the standard-care group at 6 months (p < 0.01). Insulin adjustment according to advice from a diabetes nurse educator is an effective method of improving glucose control in insulin-requiring diabetic patients.Canadian Medical Association Journal 10/1999; 161(8):959-62. · 6.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Treatment of patients with diabetes often falls short of recommended process and outcome guidelines. To improve the quality of the provided diabetes care, a program (the Comprehensive Diabetes Care Service [CDCS]) using a computerizing tracking and recall system in conjunction with nurses following protocols was implemented in a managed care setting. The impact of this program was studied and compared to the care provided to patients in another managed care setting. Patients followed in the CDCS who completed a diabetes education course were compared with patients followed in a group model health maintenance organization (GMH) who also completed a diabetes education course. CDCS patients received routine care in the program. GMH patients came to the CDCS yearly to have a diabetes evaluation. A chart review was also performed on their GMH outpatient records. Initial HbA1c levels were higher in the CDCS group than in the GMH group (median of 11.9 vs. 10.0%). In the CDCS patients, HbA1c levels not only fell significantly but were also significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in the GMH patients during the 2nd and 3rd year of follow-up care. There were no significant changes in HbA1c levels in the GMH patients. When CDCS patients were divided into compliant and noncompliant patients, the median HbA1c levels in compliant patients was 8.2%, compared with 11.5% in the noncompliant group. The CDCS patients who needed treatment for hypercholesterolemia were more likely to have a lowering of their cholesterol levels than the GMH patients. All process measures, such as yearly measurement of HbA1c levels, lipid levels, and foot and retinal exams, occurred much more frequently in the CDCS patients. The system developed and implemented for managing diabetes improved both outcome and process measures. The comparison group, followed at another managed care setting, received the care consistent with the average (suboptimal) quality of care provided to patients with diabetes in the U.S. Therefore, by using innovative systems of management, the treatment of patients with diabetes can be greatly improved.Diabetes Care 07/1998; 21(7):1037-43. · 7.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine, in an unselected population of diabetic children and adolescents < 18 years of age, which HbA1c levels can be achieved, and to examine the relationships with insulin regimen, insulin dose, sex, diabetes duration, BM1, and frequency of home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) and outpatient clinic attendance. A total of 144 unselected subjects (73 boys and 71 girls) aged 11.8 +/- 3.7 years (mean +/- SD) were included in the study over a 6-month period. They had diabetes durations ranging from 5 months to 15 years (4.0 +/- 3.0). They were followed by the same pediatric diabetologist and the same nurse. The yearly frequency of visits was 8.9 +/- 2.0, and the monthly frequency of HBGM was 111 +/- 27. Of the patients, 129 were treated with two daily insulin injections of an individualized mixture of rapid- and intermediate-acting insulins, and 15 adolescents were treated with four injections using the basal-bolus regimen. The patients were divided into two subgroups according to diabetes duration: < or = 2 years (n = 53) and > 2 years (n = 91), i.e., outside the honeymoon period. HbA1c was measured by a high-pressure liquid chromatography method (normal values 3.9-5.5%). The mean +/- SD HbA1c level in the 144 children and adolescents was 6.6 +/- 1.2% using our method. In 62% of the patients, it was possible to obtain an HbA1c level under the normal mean value plus 5 SD. HbA1c was not related to sex, number of insulin injections, or age, i.e., it was not poorer at adolescence. The mean daily insulin dose was 0.9 U/kg body wt, being lower during the first 2 years of diabetes and reaching 1 U at adolescence. HbA1c levels were lower during the first 2 years of diabetes (6.2 +/- 1.0%) than afterwards (6.9 +/- 1.2%), but the frequencies of outpatient visits and HBGM were higher. After 2 years, HbA1c was negatively correlated with the frequency of HBGM. The yearly incidence rate of severe hypoglycemic episodes was 0.2. After the age of 13 years, BM1 was significantly higher in girls and in adolescents on four daily injections. In nearly two-thirds of diabetic children and adolescents, it is possible to obtain HbA1c levels under the normal mean plus 5 SD, which is considered satisfactory and close to that of the adult cohort of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) with intensive treatment. There is no difference between the children on only two daily insulin injections and the adolescents on four injections. After 2 years of diabetes, increased frequency of HBGM helps reduce HbA1c levels, taking into account the "intensive" education of the patients and their families. Adolescent girls on four injections must pay attention to the risk of becoming overweight.Diabetes Care 01/1997; 20(1):2-6. · 7.74 Impact Factor