Diabetes education and care management significantly improve patient outcomes in the dialysis unit

Am J Kidney Dis. 2002 Sep;40(3):566-75. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2002.34915.


Background: The incidence of diabetes mellitus, particularly type 2, is increasing in the general population. Similarly, the incidence of patients with diabetes mellitus who develop end-stage renal disease has increased concomitantly in the dialysis facility to 44% of patients starting dialysis therapy with diabetes mellitus as their primary diagnosis. The aim of this study is to determine whether intensive education and care management of diabetes could improve glycemic control, alter patient behavior, and reduce complications in the setting of the dialysis unit.

Methods: Eighty-three patients were allocated to either the control group or study group based on their day of dialysis treatment. All patients were followed up for a year. Patients in the study group underwent a diabetes education program and were followed up by a care manager who provided self-management education, diabetes self-care monitoring/management, motivational coaching, and foot checks.

Results: The control group baseline foot risk category worsened from 2.7 to 3.3 (P < 0.05), whereas it was unchanged in the study group (2.2 to 2.0). There were no amputations in the study group versus five amputations in the control group (P < 0.05). Ten patients in the control group were hospitalized with diabetes- or vascular-related admissions versus one patient in the study group (P < 0.002). Hemoglobin A(1c) levels declined from 6.9 to 6.3 in the study group, whereas results of the control group were unchanged (P < 0.005). Diabetes-related quality-of-life scores increased in the study group from 76 to 86 (P < 0.001 versus the control group). There was a significant improvement in self-management behavior in all six categories evaluated in the study group versus the control group. Dialysis centers were recognized by the American Diabetes Association to provide diabetes education.

Conclusion: A program of intensive diabetes education and care management in a dialysis unit is effective in providing significant improvements in patient outcomes, glycemic control, and better quality of life in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis*
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Self Administration
  • Self Care
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Insulin