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Diabet Med. 2012 Aug;29(8):e217-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03533.x.

Does a diabetes annual review make a difference?

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University of Auckland, South Auckland Clinical School, Middlemore Hospital, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.



To determine whether a diabetes annual review, independently of other care processes, is followed by improved patient clinical measurements.


Audits conducted independently of the diabetes annual review were analysed for a time-trend in patient clinical measures. An interaction variable between the review and the year of audit was used to test for a change in gradient before and after a diabetes annual review. Each patient formed their own control.


The data included 9471 audits on 3397 patients from 92 practices, and diabetes annual reviews from 2003 to mid-2008. Percentages of patients with raised HbA(1c) , systolic blood pressure and lipids improved from first to last audit. Predicted means after a diabetes annual review for HbA(1c) decreased by 0.13% (1.0 mmol/mol), for HDL cholesterol increased by 0.04 mmol/L and for triglyceride decreased by 0.2 mmol/L. Predicted systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and urinary albumin:creatinine ratio did not change significantly.


Metabolic control improved over time but this was largely independently of the diabetes annual review, which appears to add little clinical value to existing New Zealand general practice care processes. Currently, general practitioners are paid to undertake a diabetes annual review and report the measurements collected. We would argue that payment needs to be directed to demonstrating appropriate changes in clinical management or achieving meaningful clinical goals, and that the annual review results should be part of systematic feedback to general practitioners, particularly directed at clinical inertia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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