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Arch Intern Med. 2011 Mar 14;171(5):453-9. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.70.

Comparative effectiveness of goal setting in diabetes mellitus group clinics: randomized clinical trial.

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Michael E. De-Bakey VAMC (152), Houston Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, 2002 Holcombe, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Diabetes mellitus (DM) group clinics can effectively control hypertension, but data to support glycemic control are equivocal. This study evaluated the comparative effectiveness of 2 DM group clinic interventions on glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) levels in primary care.


Eighty-seven participants were recruited from a DM registry of a single regional Veterans Affairs medical center to participate in an open, randomized comparative effectiveness study. Two primary care-based DM group interventions of 3 months' duration were compared. Empowering Patients in Care (EPIC) was a clinician-led, patient-centered group clinic consisting of 4 sessions on setting self-management action plans (diet, exercise, home monitoring, medications, etc) and communicating about progress with action plans. The comparison intervention consisted of group education sessions with a DM educator and dietician followed by an additional visit with one's primary care provider. Hemoglobin A(1c) levels were compared after intervention and at the 1-year follow-up.


Participants in the EPIC intervention had significantly greater improvements in HbA(1c) levels immediately following the active intervention (8.86%-8.04% vs 8.74%-8.70% of total hemoglobin; mean [SD] between-group difference 0.67% [1.3%]; P=.03), and these differences persisted at the 1 year follow-up (0.59% [1.4%], P=.05). A repeated-measures analysis using all study time points found a significant time-by-treatment interaction effect on HbA(1c) levels favoring the EPIC intervention (F(2,85)=3.55; P=.03). The effect of the time-by-treatment interaction seems to be partially mediated by DM self-efficacy (F(1,85)=10.39; P=.002).


Primary care-based DM group clinics that include structured goal-setting approaches to self-management can significantly improve HbA(1c) levels after intervention and maintain improvements for 1 year. Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00481286.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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