A recent study successfully conducted a clinical trial that aims to prove that telephone counseling is a cost-effective method to help people maintain their blood sugar and keep diabetes complications at bay.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, sought to discover more effective ways to assist people diagnosed with diabetes in regulating their blood sugar levels. Dr. Elizabeth A. Walker, who facilitated the trials, expressed the need for a more personal approach in treating diabetes aside from insulin shots and informational brochures. “People with diabetes need ongoing counseling about problem-solving and goal-setting for behavior change,” Walker said via a news item.
Close to 1,000 adult diabetics residing in the South Bronx took part in the trial, courtesy of the Health Department’s A1c Registry. One year after receiving self-help brochures and random phone calls from health educators involved in the study, the participants were monitored for any changes in their A1c (an indication of a person’s long-term blood sugar level).
Results showed that for patients with extremely high A1c levels at the beginning of the trial, those who received help via phone experienced an 18-percent decrease in their A1c.
The study proponents believe that this kind of approach can do wonders to the lives of diabetic patients and their families. “An intervention like this can be adopted by health systems and other organizations looking to improve diabetes outcomes through diabetes self-management interventions,” said study lead author Dr. Shadi Chamany.
The trials were conducted by a research team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in coordination with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.