A randomized study to assess the impact of pharmacist counseling of employer-based health plan beneficiaries with diabetes: the EMPOWER study

J Pharm Pract. 2012 Apr;25(2):169-79. doi: 10.1177/0897190011418513. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


Objective: To assess the impact of pharmacist counseling on empowering people with diabetes to better self-care.

Introduction: Community-based pharmacists can play a key role in educating and empowering people in such programs.

Methods: A randomized trial compared the effects of pharmacist counseling (intervention group) with printed materials (control group) in diabetic beneficiaries of several employer-based health care plans. All participants also received waiver of out-of-pocket expenses for diabetic-related medications and supplies. Clinical, humanistic, and claim outcomes were evaluated at baseline and at 1 year follow-up.

Results: Sixty-seven beneficiaries participated in this study. The 0.50% decrease from baseline in glycosylated hemoglobin (A1c) was statistically significant (P = .0008) in the intervention group and the difference between the groups approached statistical significance (P = .076). Beneficiaries in both groups had greater claim costs for diabetic-related medications and supplies during the study year. Both groups also improved in ability to manage their diabetes with the counseling group showing a significantly better understanding of diabetes (P = .0024).

Conclusion: There was a trend toward improvement in A1c in patients counseled by pharmacist with an increased utilization of diabetes-related medications and supplies. Counseling also improved diabetes knowledge and empowered patients to better diabetes management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Health Benefit Plans, Employee / economics
  • Health Planning / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human