To evaluate the effect of system interventions (formalized data collection and 100% coverage of medications and supplies) combined with physician and/or patient education on therapeutic indicators and costs in Type 2 diabetes.Methods
This was a randomized 2 × 2 design in public health, social security or private prepaid primary care clinics in Corrientes, Argentina. Thirty-six general practitioners and 468 adults with Type 2 diabetes participated. Patients of nine participating physicians were selected randomly and assigned to one of four structured group education programmes (117 patients each): control (group 1), physician education (group 2), patient education (group 3), and both physician education and patient education (group 4), with identical system interventions in all four groups. Outcome measures included HbA1c, BMI, blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipid profile, drug consumption, resource use and patient well-being at baseline and every 6 months up to 42 months.Results
HbA1c decreased significantly from 4 mmol/mol to 10 mmol/mol by 42 months (P < 0.05); the largest and more consistent decrease was in the groups where patients and physicians were educated. Blood pressure and triglycerides decreased significantly in all groups; the largest changes were recorded in the combined education group. The World Health Organization-5 Lowe score showed significant improvements, without differences among groups. The lowest treatment cost was seen in the combined education group.Conclusions
In a primary care setting, educational interventions combined with comprehensive care coverage resulted in long-term improvement in clinical, metabolic and psychological outcomes at the best cost-effectiveness ratio.