Aim: of the study was to seize the attitudes of General Practitioners (GPs) towards the disease management program (DMP) for type 2 diabetes implemented in summer 2003 in Germany. Moreover we were interested in the way GPs realise the program in daily practice, e. g. how many patients and which patients they include.
Method: A postal questionnaire was sent twice to all GPs in the region of Hamburg (n = 1.230), in November 2003 and in December 2004. Response rate without reminder was 20 respective 16 percent.
Results: In 2004 81 percent of the GPs taking part in the survey participate in the DMP. These doctors include a third of their patients with type 2 diabetes into the program. 65 percent of the GPs nevertheless do not believe, that the patients will benefit from the program. 47 percent of the participating GPs object to DMP in general. Only 66 percent say they follow the DMP guidelines for pharmacotherapy. Half of the doctors state they actively canvass patients for the program, while one fifth says they advice patients against participation. The GPs participate in first line to supply the demand of the patients and because of the public pressure less because they think the DMP is good in respect of content. In 2003 critics and pessimism regarding benefit for patients were even stronger than in 2004.
Conclusions: GPs participate in the DMP diabetes half-heartedly and with doubts. The results suggest selections in the inclusion of patients. Further research should find out whether patients being likely to profit from the DMP are systematically not included.