Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2016

Abstract

Aim

To explore whether Video-Shared Medical Appointments (video-SMA), where group education and medication titration were provided remotely through video-conferencing technology would improve diabetes outcomes in remote rural settings.

Methods

We conducted a pilot where a team of a clinical pharmacist and a nurse practitioner from Honolulu VA hospital remotely delivered video-SMA in diabetes to Guam. Patients with diabetes and HbA1c ≥7% were enrolled into the study during 2013–2014. Six groups of 4–6 subjects attended 4 weekly sessions, followed by 2 bi-monthly booster video-SMA sessions for 5 months. Patients with HbA1c ≥7% that had primary care visits during the study period but not referred/recruited for video-SMA were selected as usual-care comparators. We compared changes from baseline in HbA1c, blood-pressure, and lipid levels using mixed-effect modeling between video-SMA and usual care groups. We also analyzed emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Focus groups were conducted to understand patient’s perceptions.

Results

Thirty-one patients received video-SMA and charts of 69 subjects were abstracted as usual-care. After 5 months, there was a significant decline in HbA1c in video-SMA vs. usual-care (9.1 ± 1.9 to 8.3 ± 1.8 vs. 8.6 ± 1.4 to 8.7 ± 1.6, P = 0.03). No significant change in blood-pressure or lipid levels was found between the groups. Patients in the video-SMA group had significantly lower rates of ED visits (3.2% vs. 17.4%, P = 0.01) than usual-care but similar hospitalization rates. Focus groups suggested patient satisfaction with video-SMA and increase in self-efficacy in diabetes self-care.

Conclusion

Video-SMA is feasible, well-perceived and has the potential to improve diabetes outcomes in a rural setting.

Abbreviations

ACE-inhibitor, angiotensin converting enzyme-inhibitor; ARB, angiotensin receptor blocker; CBOC, community-based outpatient clinic; DM, diabetes mellitus; ED, emergency department; PACIC, patient assessment of care in chronic conditions; VAMC, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; VHA, Veterans Health Administration; video-SMA, video-shared medical appointments

Keywords

Video-shared medical appointments; Diabetes mellitus; Group medical visits; Rural medicine

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