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Study shows simultaneous education and treatment improve medication adherence in type 2 diabetes patients


Patients who received education and treatment simultaneously were more likely to start their treatment and stick with it

Improving type 2 diabetes outcomes: ©Onephoto -

Improving type 2 diabetes outcomes: ©Onephoto -

A study published in Circulation illustrates a novel approach to enhancing medication adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes at high cardiovascular and/or kidney risk. Conducted by researchers from Mass General Brigham, the research demonstrates the efficacy of a remote team-based strategy that integrates education and treatment initiation.

Led by Dr. Alexander J. Blood, MD, MSc, the study involved 200 adult patients with type 2 diabetes at elevated risk of cardiac and/or kidney complications. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the "education-first" group and the "simultaneous" group. The former received two months of education on disease management and medication via curated patient-centric videos before treatment initiation, while the latter received education concurrently with the initiation of their treatment.

The findings of the study revealed significant benefits for patients who received simultaneous education and treatment. Despite initial predictions, patients in the "education-first" group did not engage more with the educational platform than those in the simultaneous group. Moreover, by the end of the study period, 60% of patients in the simultaneous group adhered to their prescribed therapy, compared to 44% in the education-first group.

The study suggests that patients are more likely to adhere to therapy when education and treatment are provided simultaneously and immediately, according to Blood, noting that the results emphasize the importance of seizing the opportunity to initiate treatment when patients are already motivated to invest in their health.

The research team utilized a research and clinical care management platform, developed by the Accelerator for Clinical Transformation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass General Brigham, to facilitate care coordination among patient navigators, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physicians. This platform enabled streamlined communication and guided patients through every step of their engagement with health care services.

Researchers said that remote care programs that leverage non-licensed navigators, clinical pharmacists, and team-based care, together with a care delivery platform, have the potential to address persistent problems in health care.

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