Disease management programs may help diabetics control blood sugar

Non-adherence to prescribed treatment plans is a major cause of hospitalization and death among individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, a new study has shown that disease management programs can help patients follow their doctor's orders more carefully, leading to improved health.

A team of French researchers analyzed the result of 41 previous clinical trials that involved disease management programs. These programs included a range of treatment strategies, such as patient education, psychological intervention, dietary education, self-monitoring and telemedicine conferencing.

They found that diabetic patients who enrolled in disease management programs had significantly improved blood sugar control compared to those who followed traditional treatment models.

"We found that the ability of disease managers to start or modify medical treatment was an effective feature of disease management programs," said Clément Pimouguet, the Université Victor Segalen researcher who led the study. "This has important implications, because non-adherence to medical treatment is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality and hospital admission among patients with diabetes."