Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a pharmacist-led, primary care-based, disease management program to improve cardiovascular risk factors and glycated hemoglobin (A(1C)) levels in vulnerable patients with poorly controlled diabetes.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial of 217 patients with type 2 diabetes and poor glycemic control (A(1C) level >or=8.0%) was conducted at an academic general medicine practice from February 2001 to April 2003. Intervention patients received intensive management from clinical pharmacists, as well as from a diabetes care coordinator who provided diabetes education, applied algorithms for managing glucose control and decreasing cardiovascular risk factors, and addressed barriers to care. Control patients received a one-time management session from a pharmacist followed by usual care from their primary care provider. Outcomes were recorded at baseline and at 6 and 12 months. Primary outcomes included blood pressure, A(1C) level, cholesterol level, and aspirin use. Secondary outcomes included diabetes knowledge, satisfaction, use of clinical services, and adverse events.
Results: For the 194 patients (89%) with 12-month data, the intervention group had significantly greater improvement than did the control group for systolic blood pressure (-9 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -16 to -3 mm Hg) and A(1C) level (-0.8%; 95% CI: -1.7% to 0%). Change in total cholesterol level was not significant. At 12 months, aspirin use was 91% in the intervention group versus 58% among controls (P <0.0001). Intervention patients had greater improvements in diabetes knowledge and satisfaction than did control patients. There were no significant differences in use of clinical services or adverse events.
Conclusion: Our comprehensive disease management program reduced cardiovascular risk factors and A(1C) levels among vulnerable patients with type 2 diabetes and poor glycemic control.