Veterans are three times more likely to have diabetes than the general population. Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) is a critical component of diabetes care that galvanizes more informed and engaged patients. Many Veterans are disabled or reside in rural areas and have limited access to comprehensive DSMES. Clinical Video Telehealth (CVT) extends access to specialty services from regional Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare Centers to Community-Based Outpatient Clinics where many Veterans receive healthcare. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare proximal (3-6 month) and distal (12 and 18 month) metabolic outcomes (A1C, lipids, BMI and blood pressure) of Veterans who received comprehensive group DSMES via CVT vs. in-person . Veterans who received DSMES from 2012 to 2017 by CVT (n=197) and in-person (n=359) were identified in the VA computerized medical record. The CVT group was similar to those that attended in-person, but were less racially diverse. A linear mixed model was used to compare changes in metabolic outcomes within and between groups over time. A1C improved at 3 months and was sustained for 12-18 months in both groups. Neither group showed changes in lipids, BMI, or blood pressure.
In conclusion, CVT is an effective means of improving A1C by expanding DSMES access to Veterans who receive community care.
M. DiNardo: None. A.O. Youk: None. N. Beyer: None. J.N. Beattie: None. D. Obrosky: None.