Pharmacist-led telehealth disease management program for patients with diabetes and depression

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Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine whether a pharmacist-led telehealth disease management program is superior to usual care of nurse-led telehealth in improving diabetes medication adherence, haemoglobin A1C (A1C), and depression scores in patients with concomitant diabetes and depression. Methods: Patients with diabetes and depression were randomized to pharmacist-led or nurse-led telehealth. Veterans with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, an A1C ≥ 7.5%, diagnosis of depression, and access to a landline phone were invited to participate. Patients were randomized to usual care of nurse-led telehealth or pharmacist-led telehealth. Patients were shown how to use the telehealth equipment by the nurse or pharmacist. In the pharmacist-led group, the patients received an in-depth medication review in addition to the instruction on the telehealth equipment. Results: After six months, the pharmacist-led telehealth arm showed significant improvements for cardiovascular medication adherence (14.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.4 to 27.6), antidepressant medication adherence (26.0; 95% CI 0.9 to 51.2), and overall medication adherence combined (13.9; 95% CI 6.6 to 21.2) from baseline to six-month follow-up. There was a significant difference in A1C between each group at the six-month follow-up in the nurse-led telehealth group (6.9 ± 0.9) as compared to the pharmacist-led telehealth group (8.8 ± 2.0). There was no significance in the change in patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) from baseline to follow-up in both groups. Discussion: Pharmacist-led telehealth was efficacious in improving medication adherence for cardiovascular, antidepressants, and overall medications over a six-month period as compared to nurse-led telehealth. There was no significant improvement in overall depression scores.

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Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare