Aims: Several chronic care models for diabetes have been implemented in Italy, although conclusive data on their effectiveness are lacking. In the Cusano-Milanino diabetes clinic, patients with Type 2 diabetes with a stable disease/therapy (i.e. a steady level of HbA(1c) without need for therapy changes) are included in the SINERGIA programme: diabetologists, nurses and dietitians empower patients and telemedicine resources are utilized efficiently.
Methods: Clinical outcomes measured in the year before and after the initiation of SINERGIA were compared. A generalized hierarchical linear regression model for repeated measures was used.
Results: Altogether, 1004 patients were included; baseline characteristics were (mean ± sd): age 66.6 ± 6.2 years, 54.1% male, diabetes duration 10.8 ± 7.7 years, BMI 29.5 ± 4.8 kg/m(2) , HbA(1c) 6.9 ± 0.9% (52 ± 14 mmol/mol); 72.9% of patients were treated with anti-hypertensive drugs; 32.7% were treated with lipid-lowering drugs. After a median follow-up of 12 months (range 6-24 months), the proportion of patients with HbA(1c) ≤ 7.0% (≤ 53 mmol/mol) increased from 32.7 to 45.8% (P<0.0001), while those with HbA(1c) ≥9% (≥75 mmol/mol) decreased from 10.5 to 4.3% (P<0.0001). Patients with LDL cholesterol <100 mg/dl (<2.59 mmol/l) increased from 40 to 47% (P <0.0001), while those with LDL cholesterol ≥130 mg/dl (≥3.36 mmol/l) decreased from 26.6 to 19.7%; blood pressure levels were slightly improved. The mean number of face-to-face encounters decreased from (median and range) 2.8 (2.3-3.4) to 2.3 (1.9-2.7) (P<0.0001) visits per patient/year.
Conclusions: The SINERGIA model is effective in improving metabolic control and major cardiovascular risk factors, while allowing diabetologists to dedicate more time to patients with more acute disease.
© 2011 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2011 Diabetes UK.