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BMJ Open. 2012 Nov 5;2(6). pii: e001469. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001469. Print 2012.

Clinical effectiveness of a patient decision aid to improve decision quality and glycaemic control in people with diabetes making treatment choices: a cluster randomised controlled trial (PANDAs) in general practice.

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  • 1Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, Northern General Hospital, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.



To determine the effectiveness of a patient decision aid (PDA) to improve decision quality and glycaemic control in people with diabetes making treatment choices using a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT).


A cluster RCT.


49 general practices in UK randomised into intervention (n=25) and control (n=24).


General practices Inclusion criteria: >4 medical partners; list size >7000; and a diabetes register with >1% of practice population. 191 practices assessed for eligibility, and 49 practices randomised and completed the study. Patients People with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) taking at least two oral glucose-lowering drugs with maximum tolerated dose with a glycosolated haemoglobin (HbA1c) greater than 7.4% (IFCC HbA1c >57 mmol/mol) or advised in the preceeding 6 months to add or consider changing to insulin therapy.


currently using insulin therapy; difficulty reading or understanding English; difficulty in understanding the purpose of the study; visual or cognitive impairment or mentally ill. A total of 182 assessed for eligibility, 175 randomised to 95 intervention and 80 controls, and 167 completion and anlaysis.


Brief training of clinicians and use of PDA with patients in single consultation.


Decision quality (Decisional Conflict Scores, knowledge, realistic expectations and autonomy) and glycaemic control (glycosolated haemoglobin, HbA1c).


Knowledge and realistic expectations of the risks and benefits of insulin therapy and diabetic complications.


Intervention group: lower total Decisional Conflict Scores (17.4 vs 25.2, p<0.001); better knowledge (51.6% vs 28.8%, p<0.001); realistic expectations (risk of 'hypo', 'weight gain', 'complications'; 81.0% vs 5.2%, 70.5% vs 5.3%, 26.3% vs 5.0% respectively, p<0.001); and were more autonomous in decision-making (64.1% vs 42.9%, p=0.012). No significant difference in the glycaemic control between the two groups.


Use of the PANDAs decision aid reduces decisional conflict, improves knowledge, promotes realistic expectations and autonomy in people with diabetes making treatment choices in general practice. ISRCTN TRIALS REGISTER NUMBER: 14842077.

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