Background: The 2016 American Diabetes Association position statement emphasized that psychosocial and medical care should be integrated and provided to all people with diabetes.
Objective: To determine whether better integration of diabetes and depression care is associated with better glycemic control.
Design: Cross-sectional surveys of Midwestern federally qualified health center (FQHC) leaders and primary care providers (PCPs) in 2016. Responses were linked to FQHC-level data on the percentage of patients with uncontrolled diabetes (glycated hemoglobin ≥ 9%; 75 mmol/mol).
Participants: Midwest Clinicians' Network-affiliated FQHC leaders, and PCPs at the FQHCs.
Main measures: Multilevel models were used to determine associations between the percentage of patients with uncontrolled diabetes and FQHC and PCP characteristics; presence of diabetes and behavioral health care services; and PCPs' perception of the stage of integration between diabetes and depression care services based on the transtheoretical model (i.e., pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, or maintenance).
Key results: Response rates were 60% for the FQHC survey (N = 77) and 55% for the PCP survey (N = 538). In adjusted models, FQHCs in which PCPs perceived a higher stage of integration between diabetes and depression care had 3% fewer patients with uncontrolled diabetes per 1-level increase in integration stage (p = 0.01); on-site diabetes self-management education was associated with 7% fewer patients with uncontrolled diabetes (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: At Midwestern FQHCs, a higher stage of perceived integration of diabetes and depression care was associated with better FQHC-level glycemic control. Future studies are needed to elucidate what defines integration of diabetes and depression care services.
Keywords: depression; diabetes; glucose control; integrated care.