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Peer support for patients with type 2 diabetes

International Literature

posted by Research Admin on 28 February 2011

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A study testing the effectiveness of peer support for patients with type 2 diabetes used a cluster randomised controlled trial in 20 general practices in the east of the Republic of Ireland.

All practices introduced a standardised diabetes care system over a two year period, with four elements:
recruitment and training of peer supporters, nine group meetings led by peer supporters in participant’s own general practice, and a retention plan for the peer supporters.

There was no difference between intervention and control patients at baseline. At two year follow-up, there were no significant differences in HbA1c, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol concentration, or wellbeing scores (−0.7, −2.3 to 0.8). While there was a trend towards decreases in the proportion of patients with poorly controlled risk factors at follow-up, particularly for systolic blood pressure, these changes were not significant.

The authors conclude that the results do not support the widespread adoption of peer support.

Smith, S.M., et al. (2011). Peer support for patients with type 2 diabetes: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 342:d715, doi:10.1136/bmj.d715

The study is available in full text at: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d715.full.pdf