Quality of Care of People With Type 2 Diabetes in Eight European Countries: Findings from the Guideline Adherence to Enhance Care (GUIDANCE) study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

We sought to determine levels of adherence in eight European countries to recommendations for the management of type 2 diabetes and to investigate factors associated with key intermediate outcomes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

GUIDANCE was a cross-sectional study including retrospective data extraction from the medical records of people with type 2 diabetes recruited, using a shared protocol, from primary and specialist care sites in the following eight European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The dataset for analysis comprised 7,597 cases. Proportions meeting process and outcome criteria were determined, including between-country variations. Logistic regression was used to investigate potential predictors of meeting targets for HbA1c, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol.

RESULTS

In the total sample, adherence to process recommendations was high for some measures, for example, HbA1c recorded in past 12 months in 97.6% of cases. Target achievement for intermediate outcome measures was lower, with only 53.6% having HbA1c <7%. Considerable between-country variation was identified for both processes and outcomes. The following characteristics were associated with an increased likelihood of meeting targets for all three measures considered (HbA1c, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol): shorter diagnosis of diabetes; having one or more macrovascular complications; lower BMI; being prescribed lipid-lowering medication; and no current antihypertensive prescribing.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with earlier reports, we have suggested some encouraging positive trends in Europe in relation to meeting targets for the management of people with type 2 diabetes, but there is still scope for further improvement and greater between-country consistency.

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