The prevalence of diabetes is higher in Black than in White individuals, and Blacks seek emergency department (ED) care for diabetes more often than Whites. This randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of a novel intervention called the Diabetes Interprofessional Team to Enhance Adherence to Medical Care (DM I-TEAM) to usual medical care (UMC) to prevent return diabetes-related ED visits and hospitalizations over 12 months in 200 Black individuals with diabetes after an ED visit. The trial also identified baseline variables associated with return ED visits and hospitalizations.
The DM I-TEAM provided diabetes education and behavioral activation services delivered by race-concordant research assistants, telehealth visits with a diabetes care and education specialist and primary care physicians, and clinical pharmacist recommendations.
Participants had a mean age of 64.9 years, and 73.0% were women. There was no treatment group difference in return diabetes-related ED visits or hospitalizations over 12 months (DM I-TEAM n = 39 [45.3%] vs. UMC n = 37 [38.5%], χ2 = 0.864, P = 0.353). Baseline variables that were associated with return diabetes-related ED visits or hospitalizations were longer duration of diabetes, higher number of chronic health conditions, higher number of previous ED visits or hospitalizations, greater anticholinergic medication burden, lower satisfaction with primary care physicians, and lower trust in physicians (all P ≤0.05).
Among Black individuals with diabetes, the DM I-TEAM interprofessional intervention was no better than UMC at preventing return diabetes-related ED visits or hospitalizations. High medical morbidity, greater anticholinergic medication burden, low satisfaction with primary care physicians, and physician mistrust were associated with diabetes-related ED visits or hospitalizations independent of treatment. Before clinical interventions such as the DM I-TEAM can be effective, reducing system-level barriers to health, improving physician-patient relationships and medication prescribing, and building community health care capacity will be necessary.