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Diabetes self-management education improves medication utilization and retinopathy screening in the elderly

Murray MC, Shah BR. Prim Care Diabetes. 2016; 10(3):179-85. Epub 2015 Nov 24.


Aims — To evaluate the effect of diabetes education program attendance, which provides patients with diabetes self-management education, on prescriptions for cardiovascular risk reduction, prescriptions for diabetes treatments, and visits for retinopathy screening.

Methods — A population based cohort study of residents of Ontario, Canada with diagnosed diabetes aged ≥65 years was performed using administrative databases. Diabetes education program attendance was identified using a registry of visits to all diabetes education programs in the province in 2006. Using propensity score methods, 22,606 diabetes education program attendees were matched to an equal number of non-attendees. The proportions of patients with prescriptions filled and with ophthalmology/optometry visits were compared.

Results — Patients attending diabetes education programs had greater utilization of statins (70.6%) than non-attendees (69.4%, p < 0.0001). Diabetes education program attendance was also associated with greater utilization of glucose lowering medications (83.7% vs. 82.0%, p < 0.0001), antihypertensive medications (90.2% vs. 89.7%, p < 0.0001), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (79.8% vs. 78.9% p < 0.0001), and glucose monitoring strips (82.2% vs. 65.6%, p < 0.0001); and visits to ophthalmology/optometry (78.7% vs. 72.7%, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions — Diabetes self-management education at diabetes education programs is associated with better quality of care in the elderly in Ontario.

Keywords: Diabetes Health care quality Patient education

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