African Americans have an increased burden of both diabetes and diabetes complications. Since many patients have high glucose levels novel interventions are needed, especially for urban patients with limited resources. In the Grady Diabetes Clinic in Atlanta, a stepped care strategy improves metabolic control. However, most diabetes patients do not receive specialized care. We will attempt to translate diabetes clinic approaches to the primary care setting by implementing a novel partnership between specialists and generalists. We hypothesize that endocrinologist-supported strategies aimed at providers will result in effective diabetes management in primary care sites, and the Improving Primary Care of African Americans with Diabetes project will test this hypothesis in a major randomized, controlled trial involving over 2000 patients. Physicians in Grady Medical Clinic units will receive (1) usual care, (2) computerized reminders that recommend individualized changes in therapy and/or (3) directed discussion by endocrinologists providing feedback on performance. We will measure outcomes related to both microvascular disease (HbA1c, which reflects average glucose levels over an approximately 2-month period) and macrovascular disease (blood pressure and lipids) and assess provider performance as well. We will compare two readily generalizable program interventions that should delineate approaches effective in a primary care setting as needed to improve care and prevent complications in urban African Americans with type 2 diabetes.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.