To summarize the frequency of physician adherence to consensus recommendations for prevention of diabetic complications.
Survey data from a nationwide stratified probability sample of primary-care physicians were analyzed. Adherence to recommendations were reported by physician specialty, age-group, and type of diabetes treated.
Adherence was high for eye exams, blood pressure measurements, neurological and circulatory exams, and laboratory procedures using blood. Adherence was low for examination of the teeth and gums, examination of the feet, and laboratory procedures involving the collection of urine. Internists generally had the highest adherence rates and pediatricians the lowest. Reported adherence decreased with physician age. Adherence was higher for the management of individuals with IDDM than for those with NIDDM.
Recommendations for the care of diabetic individuals need to be more widely implemented. Recommendations targeted specifically to pediatricians may be necessary.