Patients' empowerment, physicians' perceptions, and achievement of therapeutic goals in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus in Mexico

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016 Jul 26:10:1349-57. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S107437. eCollection 2016.


Background: Physicians' perception may not parallel objective measures of therapeutic targets in patients with diabetes. This is an issue rarely addressed in the medical literature. We aimed to analyze physicians' perception and characteristics of adequate control of patients with diabetes.

Patients and methods: We studied information on physicians and their patients who participated in the third wave of the International Diabetes Management Practices Study registry in Mexico. This analysis was performed on 2,642 patients, 203 with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and 2,439 with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), treated by 200 physicians.

Results: The patients perceived at target had lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fasting blood glucose than those considered not at target. However, overestimation of the frequency of patients with HbA1c <7% was 41.5% in patients with T1DM and 31.7% in patients with T2DM (underestimation: 2.8% and 8.0%, respectively). The agreement between the physicians' perception and the class of HbA1c was suboptimal (κ: 0.612). Diabetologists and endocrinologists tested HbA1c more frequently than primary care practitioners, internists, or cardiologists; however, no differences were observed in mean HbA1c, for both T1DM (8.4% vs 7.2%, P=0.42) and T2DM (8.03% vs 8.01%, P=0.87) patients. Nevertheless, insulin users perceived at target, who practiced self-monitoring and self-adjustment of insulin, had a lower mean HbA1c than patients without these characteristics (mean HbA1c in T1DM: 6.8% vs 9.6%, respectively; mean HbA1c in T2DM: 7.0% vs 10.1%, respectively).

Conclusion: Although there is a significant physicians' overestimation about the optimal glycemic control, this global impression and characteristics of patients' empowerment, such as self-monitoring and self-adjustment of insulin, are associated with the achievement of targets.

Keywords: A1c; HbA1c; IDMPS; Mexico; care; diabetes; goal; insulin; management; opinion; self-monitoring; treat to target.