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Study Shows Diabetes Education Highly Effective in Accredited Federally Qualified Health Centers

Feb 13, 2019

by Leslie Kolb, RN, BSN, MBA, AADE Chief Science and Practice Officer

A new study from AADE, funded by The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, has shown just how effective diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) can be when offered in a person-centered, team-based care setting. Participants in the study saw an A1C reduction of nearly 2%!

This AADE clinical study builds on previous studies showing the impact DSMES has on individuals with diabetes. Participants with an A1C greater than 8% were evaluated in a year long, augmented diabetes self-management support program that took place in four accredited federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Results showed that all participants in the study produced 12-month A1C reductions of 1.7% and 1.4% for intervention and control groups, respectively. To put that into perspective, most diabetes medications reduce A1C by around 1%. And studies have shown that a reduction as little as 1% was associated with a 37% decrease in risk for microvascular complications and a 21% reduction in risk for any diabetes-related complication.

Initially, the goal of this study was to determine whether including additional diabetes support through scheduled phone calls with community health workers for an economically vulnerable population might better meet the needs of the person with diabetes and improve outcomes. However, the addition of structured telephonic support overlapping in time with the comprehensive face-to-face education did not produce statistically significant clinical or behavioral outcomes. But individuals in both the usual care and telephonic support group showed statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in A1C after participation in this study. So while the effects of additional means of support need further study, this data shows just how effective DSMES can be when administered in a person-centered, team-based care setting.  

Click here to read the full study.

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