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Open Access Adherence to clinical guidelines for monitoring diabetes in primary care settings

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Objective: Adherence to clinical guidelines is key to improving diabetes care. Contemporary knowledge of guideline adherence is lacking. This study sought to produce a national snapshot of primary care physicians’ (PCPs) adherence to the American Diabetes Association guidelines for monitoring diabetes and determine whether continuity of care promotes adherence.

Methods: Using the 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, we examined adherence to ordering hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and lipid profile tests as recommended by the American Diabetes Association for monitoring diabetes in 2379 primary care visits of patient with diabetes.

Results: In the preceding 12 months, less than 60.0% of the patients were given a test recommended for monitoring diabetes (58.0% for HbA1c and 57.0% for lipid profile). Continuity of care with PCPs increased the odds of adhering to diabetes monitoring guidelines by 36.0% for the HbA1c test (P=0.06) and by 76.0% for the lipid profile test (P=0.0006).

Conclusion: A substantial gap exists in achieving optimal monitoring for diabetes in primary care settings in the United States. While PCPs are ideally positioned to ensure that guidelines are closely followed, we found that even in primary care settings, patient-provider continuity of care was associated with guideline adherence.
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Keywords: Diabetes; continuity of care; guideline adherence; primary care

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

This article was made available online on September 15, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Adherence to clinical guidelines for monitoring diabetes in primary care settings".

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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