Objective— To evaluate the practicability and efficacy of a structured treatment and teaching program for non-insulin-treated type II diabetic patients in routine primary health care.
Research Design and Methods— All physicians (n = 139) and their office staffs in Hamburg, Germany, who had participated in a special training course from 1 April 1991 to 31 December 1991 were contacted for a standardized interview. A random sample of 17 of these offices was selected for office visits during which the documented data of all patients who had received the standardized treatment and teaching in the same period were collected and evaluated.
Results— The program was well received by the physicians, and the data collected on 179 patients (5.1 mo median after the intervention) demonstrated the efficacy of the program at the treatment level: reduction of body weight (mean 2.8 kg, P < 0.0001) and HbA1c levels (from 8.11 ± 1.68 to 7.47 ± 1.64%, P < 0.0001) was substantial. The individual prescribed volume of oral antidiabetic agents was ∼50% lower after patient attendance of the program (significant decrease from 1.41 ± 1.42 to 0.76 ± 1.11 tablets/patient/day, P < 0.0001). The proportion of patients treated with oral antidiabetic drugs decreased from 63 to 42% (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions— Subsequent to the introduction of nationwide remuneration of outpatient education for type II diabetic patients by office-based physicians, a relevant improvement was observed in the quality of care, comparable with the effects of the program in a previous prospective controlled trial.