Can follow-up phone calls improve patients self-monitoring of blood glucose?

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Journal of clinical nursing


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of follow-up phone calls in improving frequency of glucose monitoring over a three month period in two groups of patients with type 2 diabetes with the goal to lower haemoglobin A1C.

BACKGROUND: Telephone intervention has been successfully used in improving adherence to diabetes self-management and other chronic disease conditions.

DESIGN: A quality improvement study.

METHODS: Forty one Type 2 diabetic patients with HA1C ≥7·5% were included in the study. The patients were assigned to two groups. The first group of patients received standard diabetic care (Group 1) and the second group of patients (Group 2) received standard diabetic care plus follow-up phone calls within two weeks after a monthly clinic visit over a three month period. A haemoglobin A1C if indicated was done at the initial study visit.

RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in the baseline haemoglobin A1C between the two groups or the three month haemoglobin A1C of the two groups. There were no statistically significant differences in mean haemoglobin A1C change between Group 1 and Group 2. The analysis revealed that there were no statistically significant differences between groups in the number of patients who kept logs of their blood glucose readings throughout the study.

CONCLUSION: The intervention using telephone follow-up calls did not show a statistically significant improvement in overall HA1C, but there was a clinically significant change in HA1C in the group of patients that received follow-up phone calls.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The clinical significance of the change in A1C in the follow-up phone call group (Group 2) supports that frequent contact by telephone may likely improve adherence to diabetes self-management.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Blood Glucose; Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring; Chronic Disease; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Glycated Hemoglobin A; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patient Compliance; Reminder Systems; Self Care; Telephone

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