Aim: The evidence for self-management programmes in older adults varies in methodological approaches, and disease criteria. Using predetermined methodological criteria, we evaluated the effect of diabetes-specific self-management programme interventions in older adults.
Methods: The EMBASE, MEDLINE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched from January 1980 to November 2013, as were reference lists from systematic reviews, meta-analyses and clinical practice guidelines. A total of 13 trials met the selection criteria, which included 4517 older adult participants; 2361 participants randomized to a diabetes self-management programme and 2156 to usual care.
Results: The pooled effect on HbA(1c) was a reduction of -2 mmol/mol (-0.2%; 95% CI -0.3 to -0.1); tailored interventions [-3 mmol/mol (-0.2%; 95% CI -0.4 to -0.1)] or programmes with a psychological emphasis [-3 mmol/mol (-0.2; 95% CI -0.4 to -0.1)] were most effective. A pooled treatment effect on total cholesterol was a 5.81 mg/dl reduction (95% CI -10.33 to -1.29) and non-significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Conclusions: Diabetes self-management programmes for older adults demonstrate a small reduction in HbA(1c), lipids and blood pressure. These findings may be of greater clinical relevance when offered in conjunction with other therapies.
© 2015 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2015 Diabetes UK.