Indexed on: 25 May '04Published on: 25 May '04Published in: Diabetic Medicine
To determine the effectiveness of specialist nurse delivered education in primary care to improve control of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia in patients with diabetes.Practice-level randomized controlled trial, Salford, England.From 44 practices, 10 303 subjects presenting in general practice with raised blood pressure (= 140/80 mmHg), raised total cholesterol (= 5.0 mmol/l) or both.Practices were randomized to receive either the intervention for hyperlipidaemia or for hypertension; practices acted as control for the intervention not received. Specialist nurses arranged a schedule of visits with general practitioners and general practice nurses, reminding them of diabetes protocols and clinical targets. They provided educational materials and protocols used in secondary care for nurse and doctor interventions including stepping up pharmacotherapy when necessary. Practices received a list of patients in their practice who were poorly controlled at their last annual review; new and recalled patients were targeted.At subsequent annual review, blood pressure and total cholesterol values were obtained from the Salford electronic diabetes register for patients from participating practices.Overall, specialist nurse-led educational outreach to primary care was associated with no improvement in patients achieving target after 1 year-odds ratio (OR): 1.03 (95% CI 0.95-1.11; P = 0.52). Similar results were achieved with hyperlipidaemia OR: 1.04 (95% CI 0.88-1.23; P = 0.62) and hypertension OR: 1.01 (95% CI 0.80-1.27; P = 0.93).This study provides evidence that the use of specialist nurses to perform educational outreach to improve target adherence to patients with diabetes in primary care is not effective.