A new study, recently appearing in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, underscores the importance of patient engagement as it relates to improving diabetes care outcomes.
The team of researchers looked to better understand how patient engagement can benefit diabetes care in examining the relationship among patient-centered care and self-care, quality of life, and glycemic control. The study found that patient engagement and self-care were largely correlated, but patient engagement alone wasn’t enough to improve overall wellness.
This, according to the study authors, points to a need for better diabetes care coordination among providers:
While more [patient-centered care] influences self-care behaviors, it does not have enough of an impact to result in sustained behavior change and, thus, improved glycemic control. As healthcare systems are being redesigned to be more patient centric, it is important to ensure that all aspects address these needs, rather than simply one part of the medical care process. For example, systems that support patient autonomy, engaging and coordinating care with providers, and the ability to gather and use feedback, may be just as important as a patient-centered primary care visit.
The study authors concluded that further research is needed to understand why patient engagement helped improve the mental aspects of quality of life without having as much impact on the physical ones:
These findings suggest that [patient-centered care] is an important factor in diabetes self-management, but may need to expand throughout the healthcare system before changes in outcomes such as glycemic control are noted.