October 20, 2011

Interventions That Benefit Patients

This is a very interesting collection of studies and maybe the right interventions were chosen for a change unlike the ACCORD and other studies of like ilk. Now we have something that can be comprehended and should be put into practice. Instead of medical interventions of shoving higher doses and more medications at patients, behavioral and educational interventions show more promise for reducing A1c's and doing it without increasing cardiovascular events.

I do wonder how long it will take for those that believe in the ACCORD Study to downgrade this research. To me this is much more practical and provides lasting tools for people to best manage their diabetes. Shoving more medications at them teaches them nothing and gives them no tools to work with in diabetes management.

The press release does leave a lot of unanswered questions and maybe some weakness in their studies, at least they seem to have accomplished the right tasks to get the results needed. And the assumptions of behavioral and educational interventions were properly founded. Unlike the ACCORD Study, that ended early because the wrong assumptions were used and unintended results were the end of the study.

The first study included people with type 1 diabetes while the other two studies apparently confined their study to only poorly managed type 2 patients. All three studies showed that the people receiving individual education showed the greatest improvement in A1c results. All groups showed improvement as a result of the behavioral and educational interventions.

The one failure in all three studies were the differences in ethnic backgrounds and the methodology used in the studies. An improvement over many studies, but definitely a problem for analysis comparing the studies.

I would give the three studies good marks for their studies, but poor marks for not choosing patients with similar backgrounds and financial means. Poor marks for even thinking they could make comparisons between the studies based on the methodology employed so differently.

Another excellent article from another press release about the same studies is written about here by Emilia Klapp, RD, BS. I will repeat – education for people with diabetes is so important. Do not let your doctor avoid this.

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