Diabetes control improved when inner-city patients received graphic feedback about glycosylated hemoglobin levels

J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Feb;18(2):120-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.20367.x.


Objective: To develop and test an inexpensive visual tool to help patients with diabetes improve glycemic control.

Methods: A multidisciplinary team developed a 1-page form, the "Take-home Diabetes Record" (THDR), providing feedback to patients by displaying per cent glycosylated hemoglobin (GHb) values graphically over time, with target levels highlighted. Patients with type 2 diabetes in an inner-city clinic were randomized to THDR use (n = 57) or not (n = 70) over 15 months. Self-care activities were discussed, linked with GHb results, and charted at each clinic visit. Initial and final GHb were compared.

Results: Mean GHb fell significantly in THDR patients (-0.94, P =.003), but not in control patients (-0.18, P =.36). Mean GHb decrease was greater in THDR patients (P =.047). A greater proportion of THDR patients (51%) than control patients (18%) achieved a decrease in GHb >/=0.9 (P =.001).

Conclusions: A graph linking GHb and self-care activities shows promise for improving glycemic control.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Urban Population*


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A