Background: To evaluate the effects of a large population-based patient empowerment programme (PEP) on clinical outcomes and health service utilization rates in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients in the primary care setting.
Research design and subjects: A stratified random sample of 1,141 patients with T2DM enrolled to PEP between March and September 2010 were selected from general outpatient clinics (GOPC) across Hong Kong and compared with an equal number of T2DM patients who had not participated in the PEP (non-PEP group) matched by age, sex and HbA1C level group.
Measures: Clinical outcomes of HbA1c, SBP, DBP and LDL-C levels, and health service utilization rates including numbers of visits to GOPC, specialist outpatient clinics (SOPC), emergency department (ED) and inpatient admissions, were measured at baseline and at 12-month post-recruitment. The effects of PEP on clinical outcomes and health service utilization rates were assessed by the difference-in-difference estimation, using the generalized estimating equation models.
Results: Compared with non-PEP group, PEP group achieved additional improvements in clinical outcomes over the 12-month period. A significantly greater percentage of patients in the PEP group attained HbA1C≤7% or LDL-C≤2.6 mmol/L at 12-month follow-up compared with the non-PEP group. PEP group had a mean 0.813 fewer GOPC visits in comparison with the non-PEP group.
Conclusions: PEP was effective in improving the clinical outcomes and reduced the general outpatient clinic utilization rate over a 12-month period. Empowering T2DM patients on self-management of their disease can enhance the quality of diabetes care in primary care.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01935349.