J Clin Outcomes Manage
Characteristics of diabetes patients and adherence to standards of care in rural primary care clinics
Glasser M, Peters K, Warner J, Burkholder P, Sharp L, McGee BK
Abstract Objective: To examine patient characteristics and diabetes management in rural primary care clinics. Methods: Retrospective medical record review of 305 patients attending 21 rural clinics representing the most recent 2 years of patients’ office visits. Data abstracted included demographics/family history of diabetes; diabetes diagnosis; other chronic medical conditions; visits to clinic; HbA1c testing; additional diabetes care testing. Results: Over 40% of the patients had a family history of diabetes. On average, patients with diabetes had 2 additional comorbidities, with women more likely than men to have a diagnosis of hypertension, obesity, and depression. For the clinics, adherence to American Diabetes Association standards for care was low. Over the 2-year period, the mean number of tests for hemoglobin A1c per patient was 2.37 (standard deviation, 1.95), with a range from 0–8. The range in A1c values was 4.41–15.90. Conclusion: Results point to the need for greater attention to diabetes patients and their care in rural communities. The next step is to implement programs and interventions and to evaluate their effectiveness in improving the health outcomes of people with diabetes in rural communities.
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