Background Care of the elderly with diabetes is more complicated than that for other age groups. The elderly and/or those with multiple comorbidities are often excluded from randomized controlled trials of treatments for diabetes. The heterogeneity of health status of the elderly also increases the difficulty in diabetes care; therefore, diabetes care for the elderly should be individualized. Motivated patients educated about diabetes benefit the most from collaborating with a multidisciplinary patient-care team. A pharmacist is an important team member by serving as an educator, coach, healthcare manager, and pharmaceutical care provider. Objective To evaluate the effects of pharmaceutical care on glycemic control of ambulatory elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. Setting A 421-bed district hospital in Nantou City, Taiwan. Method We conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial involving 100 patients with type 2 diabetes with poor glycemic control (HbA1c levels of ≥9.0 %) aged ≥65 years over 6 months. Participants were randomly assigned to a standard-care (control, n = 50) or pharmaceutical-care (intervention, n = 50) group. Pharmaceutical care was provided by a certified diabetes-educator pharmacist who identified and resolved drug-related problems and established a procedure for consultations pertaining to medication. The Mann–Whitney test was used to evaluate nonparametric quantitative data. Statistical significance was defined as P < 0.05. Main outcome measure The change in the mean HbA1c level from the baseline to the next level within 6 months after recruiting. Results Nonparametric data (Mann–Whitney test) showed that the mean HbA1c level significantly decreased (0.83 %) after 6 months for the intervention group compared with an increase of 0.43 % for the control group (P ≤ 0.001). Medical expenses between groups did not significantly differ (−624.06 vs. −418.7, P = 0.767). There was no significant difference in hospitalization rates between groups. Conclusion The pharmacist intervention program provided pharmaceutical services that improved long-term, safe control of blood sugar levels for ambulatory elderly patients with diabetes and did not increase medical expenses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Pharmacology (medical)