National journal to publish diabetes study
The journal Medical Care has selected for publication Dr. Michael Parchman's award-winning paper on diabetes and continuity of care.
Dr. Parchman is an associate professor in the department of family and community medicine. His study, "Continuity of Care, Self-Management Behaviors and Glucose Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes," will appear in the February 2002 issue.
The study shows a direct link between blood sugar control and an established doctor/patient relationship. "There is an association between developing a sustained relationship with one primary care provider and improved blood sugar control," Dr. Parchman said. "That association may exist because the sustained relationship helps patients with diabetes improve their diet."
The study followed 256 diabetic patients for 18 months. Dr. Parchman and his colleagues found that patients who saw the same primary care provider over an average of 18 months were more than twice as likely to have an improvement, or no change, in blood sugar control compared to patients who saw more than one physician.
"Through time, a sense of trust in the physician may make patients more comfortable in divulging critical information regarding their social context that is relevant to their health," Dr. Parchman said. "This new knowledge may help the physician tailor his or her advice and management in a way that improves the patient's diabetes control. This trust also may make patients more responsive to physician recommendations concerning self-management behaviors."
Dr. Parchman won a distinguished paper award for his work at the North American Primary Care Research Group annual conference last October. He credits the success of the study to Dr. Jacqueline Pugh, professor in the department of medicine. Dr. Pugh led the data collection effort and provided a significant amount of input to the data analysis and preparation of the manuscript.