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Gesundheitswesen. 2012 Aug;74(8-9):496-501. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1301273. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

[The methods within the evaluation of disease management programmes in control-group designs using the example of diabetes mellitus - a systematic literature review].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Gesundheitsökonomie und Klinische Epidemiologie der Universität zu Köln.



Disease management programmes (DMPs) were implemented in Germany in 2002. Their evaluation is required by law. Beyond the mandatory evaluation, a growing number of published studies evaluate the DMP for diabetes mellitus type 2 in a control-group design. As patients opt into the programme on a voluntary basis it is necessary to adjust the inherent selection bias between groups. The aim of this study is to review published studies which evaluate the diabetes DMP using a control-group design with respect to the methods used.


A systematic literature review of electronic databases (PUBMED, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDPILOT) and a hand search of reference lists of the relevant publications was conducted to identify studies evaluating the DMP diabetes mellitus in a control-group design.


8 studies were included in the systematic literature review. 4 studies gathered retrospective claims data from sickness funds, one from physician's records, one study used prospective data from ambulatory care, and 2 studies were based on one patient survey. Methods used for adjustment of selection bias included exact matching, matching using propensity score methods, age-adjusted and sex-separated analysis, and adjustment in a regression model/analysis of covariance. One study did not apply adjustment methods. The intervention period ranged from 1 day to 4 years. Considered outcomes of studies (surrogate parameter, diabetes complications, mortality, quality of life, and claim data) depended on the database.


In the evaluation of the DMP diabetes mellitus based on a control-group design neither the database nor the methods used for selection bias adjustment were consistent in the available studies. Effectiveness of DMPs cannot be judged based on this review due to heterogeneity of study designs. To allow for a comprehensive programme evaluation standardised minimum requirements for the evaluation of DMPs in the control group design are required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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