Objective: This study evaluated the Diabetes Outpatient Intensive Treatment (DOIT) program, a multiday group education and skills training experience combined with daily medical management, followed by case management over 6 months. Using a randomized control design, the study explored how DOIT affected glycemic control and self-care behaviors over a short term. The impact of two additional factors on clinical outcomes were also examined (frequency of case management contacts and whether or not insulin was started during the program).
Research design and methods: Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in poor glycemic control (A1c >8.5%) were randomly assigned to DOIT or a second condition, entitled EDUPOST, which was standard diabetes care with the addition of quarterly educational mailings. A total of 167 patients (78 EDUPOST, 89 DOIT) completed all baseline measures, including A1c and a questionnaire assessing diabetes-related self-care behaviors. At 6 months, 117 patients (52 EDUPOST, 65 DOIT) returned to complete a follow-up A1c and the identical self-care questionnaire.
Results: At follow-up, DOIT evidenced a significantly greater drop in A1c than EDUPOST. DOIT patients also reported significantly more frequent blood glucose monitoring and greater attention to carbohydrate and fat contents (ACFC) of food compared with EDUPOST patients. An increase in ACFC over the 6-month period was associated with improved glycemic control among DOIT patients. Also, the frequency of nurse case manager follow-up contacts was positively linked to better A1c outcomes. The addition of insulin did not appear to be a significant contributor to glycemic change.
Conclusions: DOIT appears to be effective in promoting better diabetes care and positively influencing glycemia and diabetes-related self-care behaviors. However, it demands significant time, commitment, and careful coordination with many health care professionals. The role of the nurse case manager in providing ongoing follow-up contact seems important.