Background: Diabetes has traditionally been managed as a single chronic disease state, however it exists with co-morbidities such as depression and metabolic syndrome. Hence, treatment is multifaceted, requiring both primary and secondary care, however, the current delivery of diabetes care is often fragmented. Integrated chronic disease management is a growing model of interest, and is underpinned by the chronic care model (CCM), devised as a guide for primary care management of patients with chronic conditions. The model identifies six key elements for effective care, and has shown promise in improving the provision of diabetes treatment.
Aim: To find empirical evidence of integrated care interventions targeted at co-morbidities including diabetes, across primary/secondary care.
Method: A systematic review of peer reviewed literature from PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane Library and Joanna Briggs was performed. Studies were reviewed according to inclusion criteria- studies published in English, between 2004-2014, empirical studies, studies with evidence of primary/secondary implementation, and those dealing with chronic co-morbid disease states.
Results: 51 studies met the inclusion criteria. Included studies were mostly from the US (38), with five from Australia, UK (2), Canada (2), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Ireland (1), and one multi-country study. It was found that all interventions adopted at least one (average 3-4) of the chronic care model, with the majority implementing delivery system redesign activities within the primary care practice/s. We found evidence of interventions which significantly reduced emergency department and hospital admissions, improved processes of care, patient health outcomes such as HbA1c, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced costs.
Conclusion: Diabetes exists as a co-morbid disease, requiring both primary and secondary care. We found that integrated care interventions adopting elements of the chronic care model positively impacted on patient outcomes, service utilisation, as well as costs. This review has highlighted that it may not be necessary to adopt all CCM elements to improve clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and costs.