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Article
The Effect of Physician Continuity on Diabetic Outcomes in a Resident Continuity Clinic
Journal of General Internal Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Research and Education in Primary Care Internal Medicine
  • Angela T. Dearinger, University of Kentucky
  • John F. Wilson, University of Kentucky
  • Charles H. Griffith, University of Kentucky
  • F. Douglas Scutchfield, University of Kentucky
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.

Document Type
Article
Publication Date
7-1-2008
Disciplines
Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of General Internal Medicine, v. 23, no. 7, p. 937-941.

© 2008 Society of General Internal Medicine.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-008-0654-5
Citation Information
Angela T. Dearinger, John F. Wilson, Charles H. Griffith and F. Douglas Scutchfield. "The Effect of Physician Continuity on Diabetic Outcomes in a Resident Continuity Clinic" Journal of General Internal Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Research and Education in Primary Care Internal Medicine Vol. 23 Iss. 7 (2008) p. 937 - 941
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/f_douglas_scutchfield/85/