Purpose: To assess whether VA MEDIC-E (Veterans Affairs Multi-disciplinary Education and Diabetes Intervention for Cardiac risk reduction[EM DASH] Extended for 6 months), a pharmacist-led shared medical appointments program, could improve attainment of target goals for hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and tobacco use in patients with type 2 diabetes compared to standard primary care after 6 months of intervention.
Methods: A randomized, controlled trial of VA MEDIC-E (n = 50) versus standard primary care (n = 49) in veterans with type 2 diabetes, hemoglobin A1c (A1C) > 7%, blood pressure (BP) > 130/80 mmHg, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) > 100mg/dl (2.59 mmol/l) in the previous 6 months was conducted. The VA MEDIC-E intervention consisted of 4 weekly group sessions followed by 5 monthly booster group sessions. Each 2-hour session included 1 hour of multidisciplinary diabetes specific healthy lifestyle education and 1 hour of pharmacotherapeutic interventions performed by a clinical pharmacist. Evaluation measures included lab values of A1C, LDL cholesterol, BP, and goal attainment of these values, and diabetes self-care behavior questionnaires at 6 months.
Results: The randomization groups were similar at baseline in all cardiovascular risk factors except for LDL, which was significantly lower in the MEDIC-E arm. At 6 months, significant improvements from baseline were found in the intervention arm for exercise, foot care, and goal attainment of A1C, LDL-C, and BP but not in the control arm.
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that the pharmacist-led group intervention program for 6 months was an efficacious and sustainable collaborative care approach to managing diabetes and reducing associated cardiovascular risk.