Background: Control of modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) disease, the most common cause of morbidity and mortality among people with Type 2 diabetes is dependent on both patient self-care behaviors and the characteristics of the clinic in which care is delivered. The relationship between control of CV risk factors, patient self-care behaviors, and the presence of CCM (Chronic Care Model) components across multiple primary care clinic settings was examined.
Methods: Thirty consecutive patients presenting with Type 2 diabetes were enrolled from each of 20 primary care clinics from across South Texas. Patients were asked about their stage of change for four self-care behaviors: diet, exercise, glucose monitoring, and medication adherence. CV risk factors included the most recent values of glycosolated hemoglobin (A1C), blood pressure, and (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Clinicians in each clinic completed the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC) survey, a validated measure of the CCM components. Hierarchical logistic regression models were used.
Results: Only 25 (13%) of the 618 patients had good control of all three CV risk factors. Good control of these risk factors was positively associated with community linkages and delivery system design but was inversely associated with clinical information systems. Patients who were in the maintenance stage of change for all four self-care behaviors were more likely to have all three risk factors well controlled.
Discussion: Risk factors for CV disease among patients with diabetes are associated with the structure and design of the clinical microsystem where care is delivered. In addition to focusing on clinician knowledge, future interventions should address the clinical microsystem's structure and design to reduce the burden of CV disease among patients with Type 2 diabetes.