Comprehensive Telehealth Model to Support Diabetes Self-Management

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JAMA Netw Open


IMPORTANCE: As the number of patients with diabetes continues to increase in the United States, novel approaches to clinical care access should be considered to meet the care needs for this population, including support for diabetes-related technology.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a virtual clinic to facilitate comprehensive diabetes care, support continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) integration into diabetes self-management, and provide behavioral health support for diabetes-related issues.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study was a prospective, single-arm, remote study involving adult participants with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who were referred through community resources. The study was conducted virtually from August 24, 2020, to May 26, 2022; analysis was conducted at the clinical coordinating center.

INTERVENTION: Training and education led by a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist for CGM use through a virtual endocrinology clinic structure, which included endocrinologists and behavioral health team members.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Main outcomes included CGM-measured mean glucose level, coefficient of variation, and time in range (TIR) of 70 to 180 mg/dL, time with values greater than 180 mg/dL or 250 mg/dL, and time with values less than 70 mg/dL or 54 mg/dL. Hemoglobin A1c was measured at baseline and at 12 and 24 weeks.

RESULTS: Among the 234 participants, 160 had type 1 diabetes and 74 had type 2 diabetes. The mean (SD) age was 47 (14) years, 123 (53%) were female, and median diabetes duration was 20 years. Median (IQR) CGM use over 6 months was 96% (91%-98%) for participants with type 1 diabetes and 94% (85%-97%) for those with type 2 diabetes. Mean (SD) hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in those with type 1 diabetes decreased from 7.8% (1.6%) at baseline to 7.1% (1.0%) at 3 months and 7.1% (1.0%) at 6 months (mean change from baseline to 6 months, -0.6%, 95% CI, -0.8% to -0.5%; P < .001), with an 11% mean TIR increase over 6 months (95% CI, 9% to 14%; P < .001). Mean HbA1c in participants with type 2 diabetes decreased from 8.1% (1.7%) at baseline to 7.1% (1.0%) at 3 months and 7.1% (0.9%) at 6 months (mean change from baseline to 6 months, -1.0%; 95% CI, -1.4% to -0.7%; P < .001), with an 18% TIR increase over 6 months (95% CI, 13% to 24%; P < .001). In participants with type 1 diabetes, mean percentage of time with values less than 70 mg/dL and less than 54 mg/dL decreased over 6 months by 0.8% (95% CI, -1.2% to -0.4%; P = .001) and by 0.3% (95% CI, -0.5% to -0.2%, P < .001), respectively. In the type 2 diabetes group, hypoglycemia was rare (mean [SD] percentage of time

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Results from this cohort study demonstrated clinical benefits associated with implementation of a comprehensive care model that included diabetes education. This model of care has potential to reach a large portion of patients with diabetes, facilitate diabetes technology adoption, and improve glucose control.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Humans; Female; Middle Aged; Male; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1; Glycated Hemoglobin; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Blood Glucose; Self-Management; Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring; Cohort Studies; Prospective Studies; Telemedicine

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