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Telemed J E Health. 2011 Oct;17(8):596-602. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2011.0028. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Using telehealth to provide diabetes care to patients in rural Montana: findings from the promoting realistic individual self-management program.

Author information

1
Billings Clinic Center for Clinical Translational Research, Billings, Montana 59107, USA. eciemins@billingsclinic.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objectives of this study were to demonstrate the feasibility of telehealth technology to provide a team approach to diabetes care for rural patients and determine its effect on patient outcomes when compared with face-to-face diabetes visits.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

An evaluation of a patient-centered interdisciplinary team approach to diabetes management compared telehealth with face-to-face visits on receipt of recommended preventive guidelines, vascular risk factor control, patient satisfaction, and diabetes self-management at baseline and 1, 2, and 3 years postintervention.

RESULTS:

One-year postintervention the receipt of recommended dilated eye exams increased 31% and 43% among telehealth and face-to-face patients, respectively (p=0.28). Control of two or more risk factors increased 37% and 69% (p=0.21). Patient diabetes care satisfaction rates increased 191% and 131% among telehealth and face-to-face patients, respectively (p=0.51). A comparison of telehealth with face-to-face patients resulted in increased self-reported blood glucose monitoring as instructed (97% vs. 89%; p=0.63) and increased dietary adherence (244% vs. 159%; p=0.86), respectively. Receipt of a monofilament foot test showed a significantly greater improvement among face-to-face patients (17% vs. 35%; p=0.01) at 1 year postintervention, but this difference disappeared in years 2 and 3.

CONCLUSIONS:

Telehealth proved to be an effective mode for the provision of diabetes care to rural patients. Few differences were detected in the delivery of a team approach to diabetes management via telehealth compared with face-to-face visits on receipt of preventive care services, vascular risk factor control, patient satisfaction, and patient self-management. A team approach using telehealth may be a viable strategy for addressing the unique challenges faced by patients living in rural communities.

PMID:
21859347
PMCID:
PMC3208251
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2011.0028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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