Objective: The study compared the quality of care for type 2 diabetes delivered to two groups with type 2 diabetes--adults with serious mental illness and those with no serious mental illness--in a range of community-based clinic settings.
Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of medical chart data from 300 patients (201 with serious mental illness and 99 without serious mental illness) were used to examine indicators of the quality of care established by the Diabetes Quality Improvement Project. Recommended services assessed included glycosylated hemoglobin examination, eye and foot examinations, blood pressure check, and urine and lipid profiles. Self-report data were used to compare receipt of provider-delivered diabetes education and receipt of cues regarding self-management of diabetes for the two study groups.
Results: Evidence of lower quality of diabetes care was found for persons with serious mental illness as reflected by their receipt of fewer recommended services and less education about diabetes, compared with those without serious mental illness. Although participants with serious mental illness were less likely to receive cues from providers regarding the need for glucose self-monitoring, they were as likely as those without serious mental illness to receive cues regarding diet and medication adherence.
Conclusions: Although participants with serious mental illness received some services that are indicated in quality-of-care standards for diabetes, they were less likely to receive the full complement of recommended services and care support, suggesting that more effort may be required to provide optimal diabetes care to these vulnerable patients.