Objective

To conduct a systematic review of studies that used registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) or registered nurses (RNs) to deliver pharmacological therapy using protocols for diabetes, dyslipidemia, or hypertension.

Research Design and Methods

A database search of PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ovid, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature was conducted of literature published from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2019.

Results

Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria, representing randomized controlled trials (12), retrospective (1) and prospective cohort design studies (6), and time series (1). In all, the studies include 7,280 participants with a median study duration of 12 months (range 6–25 months). Fifteen studies were led by RNs alone, two by RDNs, and three by a combination of RDNs and RNs. All demonstrated improvements in A1C, blood pressure, or lipids. Thirteen studies provided a lifestyle behavior change component in addition to medication protocols.

Conclusion

This systematic review provides evidence that RDN- and RN-led medication management using physician-approved protocols or treatment algorithms can lead to clinically significant improvements in diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension management and is as good or better than usual care.

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