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Practice nurse clinics 'improve diabetes control'

Patients registered at practices with nurse-led diabetes clinics have significantly better glycaemic control than those who do not receive nurse-led care, say Danish researchers.

Their observational study looked at data from 193 GP practices and nearly 13,000 patients with type 2 diabetes between 40 and 80 years of age, and assessed the nurse-led care provided at their practice and their HbA1c levels.

Three-quarters of GP practices surveyed had a practice nurse, and in 61% that nurse provided individual consultations for patients with diabetes.

In practices with well-implemented nurse-led clinics, 75% of patients had a HbA1c measurement performed during the 180 days of the study. The mean number of patients with a HbA1c of 8% (11.6 mmol/l) or more was 17.2.

This compared with the equivalent figures of 68% and 20.8 in practices with no practice nurses, and 72% and 17.6 in practices with practice nurses who did not provide any diabetes consultations independently.

The authors concluded: ‘The results suggest that involving nurses in type 2 diabetes care is associated with improved quality of diabetes management.'

Primary Care Diabetes 2012;6;221-8

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