ORLANDO — Patients with diabetes achieved significant improvements in their blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels with diabetes education, according to a presentation at the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting.
“Diabetes self-management education is a natural fit for the patient-centered medical home,” Lovelyamma Varghese, MS, FNP, BC, RN, director of nursing practice and quality for the Ambulatory Care Network at New York Presbyterian Hospital, said during a presentation.
Varghese and colleagues evaluated the outcomes of 1,263 people diagnosed with diabetes living in a low-income area in New York City that had a high density of immigrant residents.
Patients met with diabetes educators for four 30-minute, one-on-one sessions, specifically learning the AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors; these comprise healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping and reducing risks. Groups sessions with educators were also offered to help patients focus on certain behaviors.
The care was part of a holistic patient-centered medical home approach that involved coordination between primary and specialty care providers and culturally competent communication.
At 15 months, the researchers observed decreases in HbA1c (–67%) and LDL cholesterol (–53%). Only 25% of patients had high blood pressure after education, compared with 32% before. There was a 7% increase in patients who reached HbA1c levels below 7% over the course of the study and a 16% decrease in patients who dropped below 9%. Also, 41% of patients had a documented foot exam.
“We’ve shown this program can really work,” Varghese said in a press release. “As diabetes educators, we partner with providers, fellow dieticians and nurses, community health workers and most importantly, patients. We go into their homes, speak their language and identify opportunities for behavioral changes. It’s a partnership.”
For More Information: Varghese L. Presented at: The American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting 2014; August 6-9, 2014; Orlando, Fla.
Disclosure: Varghese and Cabral reported no relevant financial disclosures.