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.