The effect of physician continuity on diabetic outcomes in a resident continuity clinic

Angela T. Dearinger, John F. Wilson, Charles H. Griffith, F. Douglas Scutchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Conflicting data exists regarding the effect of continuity on diabetes care. Resident physicians frequently treat patients with diabetes in their continuity clinics; however, maintaining continuity in a resident clinic can be very challenging. OBJECTIVE: To determine if resident continuity is associated with improvement in diabetic outcomes (HgA1c, LDL, blood pressure) in a resident clinic. DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective analysis of data obtained from a medical record review of diabetic patients seen in a resident physician clinic. MEASUREMENTS: We measured continuity, using the Usual Provider of Continuity Index (UPC) for residents and faculty preceptors. We measured changes in HgA1c, LDL, and blood pressure over a 3-year period. Using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), we assessed the relationship between UPC and change in these diabetic outcomes. RESULTS: The resident UPC was 0.43, and the faculty preceptor UPC was 0.76. The overall change in HgA1c was -0.3. There was a statistically significant relationship between improvement in HgA1c and resident UPC (p=0.02), but not faculty preceptor UPC. There was no association between resident or faculty preceptor continuity and change in LDL or blood pressure. CONCLUSION: This study showed a link between resident continuity and improvement in glycemic control in diabetic patients. Resident physicians have a greater opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their patients. This interpersonal continuity may be of benefit in patients with illnesses that requires a significant amount of self-management behaviors. Medical training programs should focus efforts on improving continuity in resident primary care clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-941
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Continuity
  • Diabetes
  • Residents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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