A Randomized Trial Comparing Telemedicine Case Management with Usual Care in Older, Ethnically Diverse, Medically Underserved Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (Impact Factor: 3.5). 01/2006; 13(1):40-51. DOI: 10.1197/jamia.M1917
Source: PubMed


Telemedicine is a promising but largely unproven technology for providing case management services to patients with chronic conditions who experience barriers to access to care or a high burden of illness.
The authors conducted a randomized, controlled trial comparing telemedicine case management to usual care, with blinding of those obtaining outcome data, in 1,665 Medicare recipients with diabetes, aged 55 years or greater, and living in federally designated medically underserved areas of New York State. The primary endpoints were HgbA1c, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
In the intervention group (n = 844), mean HgbA1c improved over one year from 7.35% to 6.97% and from 8.35% to 7.42% in the subgroup with baseline HgbA1c > or =7% (n = 353). In the usual care group (n = 821) mean HgbA1c improved over one year from 7.42% to 7.17%. Adjusted net reductions (one-year minus baseline mean values in each group, compared between groups) favoring the intervention were as follows: HgbA1c, 0.18% (p = 0.006), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, 3.4 (p = 0.001) and 1.9 mm Hg (p < 0.001), and LDL cholesterol, 9.5 mg/dL (p < 0.001). In the subgroup with baseline HgbA1c > or =7%, net adjusted reduction in HgbA1c favoring the intervention group was 0.32% (p = 0.002). Mean LDL cholesterol level in the intervention group at one year was 95.7 mg/dL. The intervention effects were similar in magnitude in the subgroups living in New York City and upstate New York.
Telemedicine case management improved glycemic control, blood pressure levels, and total and LDL cholesterol levels at one year of follow-up.

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Available from: Ruth S Weinstock, Feb 02, 2015
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    • "Compared to cross-sectional studies of the diabetes population, the current study included a relatively high proportion of insulin-treated patients (49.7%) [3]. Also, baseline levels of HbA1c were higher in the current study than in IDEATel [11] (mean 8.5% vs. 7.4%, or 69 vs. 57 mmol/mol). Some comorbidity arose from the other two conditions targeted by WSD, namely heart failure (affecting 13.0% of intervention patients) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (affecting 16.3%). "
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    ABSTRACT: The Whole Systems Demonstrator was a large, pragmatic, cluster randomised trial that compared telehealth with usual care among 3,230 patients with long-term conditions in three areas of England. Telehealth involved the regular transmission of physiological information such as blood glucose to health professionals working remotely. We examined whether telehealth led to changes in glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) among the subset of patients with type 2 diabetes. The general practice electronic medical record was used as the source of information on HbA1c. Effects on HbA1c were assessed using a repeated measures model that included all HbA1c readings recorded during the 12-month trial period, and adjusted for differences in HbA1c readings recorded before recruitment. Secondary analysis averaged multiple HbA1c readings recorded for each individual during the trial period. 513 of the 3,230 participants were identified as having type 2 diabetes and thus were included in the study. Telehealth was associated with lower HbA1c than usual care during the trial period (difference 0.21% or 2.3 mmol/mol, 95% CI, 0.04% to 0.38%, p = 0.013). Among the 457 patients in the secondary analysis, mean HbA1c showed little change for controls following recruitment, but fell for intervention patients from 8.38% to 8.15% (68 to 66 mmol/mol). A higher proportion of intervention patients than controls had HbA1c below the 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) threshold that was targeted by general practices (30.4% vs. 38.0%). This difference, however, did not quite reach statistical significance (adjusted odds ratio 1.63, 95% CI, 0.99 to 2.68, p = 0.053). Telehealth modestly improved glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes over 12 months. The scale of the improvements is consistent with previous meta-analyses, but was relatively modest and seems unlikely to produce significant patient benefit. Trial registration number International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Register ISRCTN43002091.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "As described previously in the protocol for a trial of telehealthcare among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from our group [11], several health service policies support the need to establish the cost-effectiveness of supported self-monitoring: shifting the balance of care for people with chronic conditions to primary care [12,13]; the drive for technological solutions to healthcare problems [14]; and the importance of expert patients and self-management of long-term conditions [15,16]. While some evidence can be gleaned from international research into telemetric solutions for chronic disease management and there are encouraging results from UK and international pilot studies [17-21], further research into the cost-effectiveness of these interventions is required, particularly within the National Health Services in the UK [22]. The Telescot research program was designed using frameworks for the development and evaluation of complex interventions [23,24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Diabetes prevalence is increasing and current methods of management are unsustainable. Effective approaches to supporting self-management are required. The aim of this randomized controlled trial is to establish whether supported telemetric monitoring of glycemic control and blood pressure results in reductions in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c; the primary outcome of a measure of long-term glycemic control) and secondary outcomes of blood pressure and weight among people with poorly controlled diabetes compared to a control group receiving usual care. Methods/design: Design: multi-center, randomized controlled trial with embedded qualitative study. Setting: primary care in Lothian, Kent, Glasgow and Borders regions in the UK. Participants: people with type 2 diabetes and confirmed HbA1c>7.5% (58 mmol/mol). Intervention/comparison: randomization to intervention or control groups will be performed by the Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit. Participants in the intervention group will be shown how to use blood glucose and blood pressure monitors and weighing scales which use Bluetooth wireless technology to transmit readings via modem to a remote server. These participants will be asked to provide at least twice weekly measurements of morning and evening blood glucose and weekly measurements of weight and blood pressure. Measurements will be checked at least weekly by practice nurses who will contact the patients to adjust therapy according to guidelines and reinforce lifestyle advice. Participants in the control group will receive usual care. All participants will receive an individual education session. Follow-up: measurements will be performed at practices 9 months after randomization by research nurses blinded to allocation. The primary outcome measure is HbA1c and secondary outcomes measure are daytime systolic and diastolic blood pressure, weight and cost per quality-adjusted life year. Analysis: intention-to-treat analyses will be performed. The sample size of 320 participants allows for 20% drop-out and has 80% power at 5% significance to detect a 0.5% absolute (6 mmol/mol) fall in HbA1c in the intervention group. The qualitative study will explore the experiences of patients and professionals using the intervention. Trial registration: Trial registration number ISRCTN71674628.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Trials
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    • "A review by Verhouven et al. [14] shows that videoconferencing has been used for individual diabetes case management at home in several studies, for example [27]. Diabetes self-management education using videoconferencing has been delivered at local clinics or community centres, both individually and in a group setting; examples include [28-30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of major chronic illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes, is increasing. Pulmonary rehabilitation and diabetes self-management education are important in the management of COPD and diabetes respectively. However, not everyone can participate in the programmes offered at a hospital or other central locations, for reasons such as travel and transport. Internet-enabled home-based programmes have the potential to overcome these barriers.This study aims to assess patient acceptability of the delivery form and components of Internet-enabled programmes based on home groups for comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation and for diabetes self-management education. We have developed Internet-enabled home programmes for comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation and for diabetes self-management education that include group education, group exercising (COPD only), individual consultations, educational videos and a digital health diary. Our prototype technology platform makes use of each user's own TV at home, connected to a computer, and a remote control. We conducted a six-week home trial with 10 participants: one group with COPD and one with diabetes. The participants were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Both home-based programmes were well accepted by the participants. The group setting at home made it possible to share experiences and to learn from questions raised by others, as in conventional group education. In the sessions, interaction and discussion worked well, despite the structure needed for turn taking. The thematic educational videos were well accepted although they were up to 40 minutes long and their quality was below TV broadcasting standards. Taking part in group exercising at home under the guidance of a physiotherapist was also well accepted by the participants. Participants in the COPD group appreciated the social aspect of group education sessions and of exercising together, each in their own home. The digital health diary was used as background information in the individual consultations and by some participants as a self-management tool. Participant retention was high, with no dropouts. None of the participants reported that the six-week duration of the home programmes was too long. The Internet-enabled programmes for home-based groups in pulmonary rehabilitation and diabetes education were generally well accepted by the participants. Our findings indicate that conventional programmes have the potential to be delivered in socially supportive group settings at home.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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