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BMJ. 1993 Mar 6;306(6878):624-30.

Prompting the clinical care of non-insulin dependent (type II) diabetic patients in an inner city area: one model of community care.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University College School of Medicine, Whittington Hospital, London.



To evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of centrally organised prompting for coordinating community care of non-insulin dependent diabetic patients.


Randomised single centre trial. Patients allocated to prompted care in the community or to continued attendance at hospital diabetic clinic (controls). Median follow up two years.


Two hospital outpatient clinics, 38 general practices, and 11 optometrists in the catchment area of a district general hospital in Islington.


181 patients attending hospital outpatient clinics.


There is no difference in process of medical care measures and medical outcome between prompted community care and hospital clinic care.


14 hospital patients failed to receive a single review in the clinic as compared with three patients in the prompted group (chi 2 = 6.1, df = 1; p = 0.013). Follow up for retinal screening was better in prompted patients than in controls; two prompted patients defaulted as against 12 controls (chi 2 = 6.9, df = 1; p = 0.008). Three measures per patient yearly were more frequent in prompted patients: tests for albuminuria (median 3.0 v 2.3; p = 0.03), plasma glucose estimations (3.1 v 2.5; p = 0.003), and glycated haemoglobin estimations (2.4 v 0.9; p < 0.001). Continuity of care was better in the prompted group (3.2 v 2.2 reviews by each doctor seen; p < 0.001). The study ended with no significant differences between the groups in last recorded random plasma glucose concentration, glycated haemoglobin value, numbers admitted to hospital for a diabetes related reason, and number of deaths. Questionnaires revealed a high level of patient, general practitioner, and optometrist satisfaction.


Six monthly prompting of non-insulin treated diabetic patients for care by inner city general practitioners and by optometrists is effective and acceptable.

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