Background: People with diabetes (PWD) manage complex medicines regimens. The prevalence of adverse events (AE) caused by glucose lowering medicines (GLM) among PWD is concerning and many AEs are preventable.
Aim: To determine whether a GLM self-management education program delivered by diabetes educators using individualised, diabetes-specific structured medicine education programs a) improved medicine-related knowledge and self-management and b) improved metabolic outcomes compared with usual diabetes medicine education.
Method: A randomised trial measuring knowledge of and attitudes to GLMs, medicines management, AEs events and HbA1c before (Time 1) and six months after (Time 2) individualised GLM education (Intervention group) or usual care (Control group).Data were collected using semi-structured individual interviews, including the Medicines Knowledge Scale and examination of Medical Records. Sampling population: PWD using at least one GLM attending either an outpatient or general practice clinic in regional Victoria. Eligible participants were randomly allocated to the Intervention or Control group. One diabetes educator at each site conducted individual interviews and provided education to the Intervention group.
Findings: The sample comprised 59 PWD at Time 1 and 57 at Time 2: mean age 66.85 (SD 10.85, median 67, range 42–88), and 59% were female. There was no statistically significant change in HbA1c levels at Time 2 and no difference between HbA1c in the two groups before or after the intervention. Both groups reported a non-significant reduction in mild and severe hypoglycaemic episodes at Time 2 and obtained higher scores on the Medicines Knowledge scale at Time 2. Most participants indicated the first interview was useful and 40% reported learning new information about GLMs, regardless of which group they were allocated to. Four participants reported unsafe GLM self-management practices.
Conclusion. PWD were positive about and benefitted from a detailed interview about their diabetes medicines even when they did not receive individualised education.
The study was funded by an ADS-Servier Diabetes Grant in Memory of Barry Young.