Telemedicine for Disparity Patients With Diabetes: The Feasibility of Utilizing Telehealth in the Management of Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes in Black and Hispanic Disparity Patients: A Pilot Study
J Diabetes Sci Technol
© 2020 Diabetes Technology Society. Background: Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) and Hispanic/Latinx (H/L) patients bear a disproportionate burden of type 2 diabetes and associated complications. Regular visits to a primary care doctor or diabetes specialist are warranted to maintain glycemic control, but for a myriad of reasons disparity populations may have difficulties receiving diabetes care. We seek to determine the feasibility of telehealth added to care as usual and secondarily to improve health outcomes (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c]) in NHB and H/L with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes managed with two or three noninsulin agents. Methods: Twenty-nine patients were randomized to monthly phone calls or weekly to biweekly telehealth visits. Feasibility outcomes were summarized descriptively for the telehealth arm. Differences scores for A1C level and surveys were computed between baseline and three months and compared across arms using a two-sample t test or Mann-Whitney U test. Results: Patients in the telehealth arm completed a median of eight visits (IQR: 5, 8), and 53% of those in the telephone arm completed 100% of their calls. Change in HbA1c was greater for those in the telephone arm (–2.57 vs –2.07%, P =.70) but the mean baseline HbA1c was higher in the telephone group (11.1% vs 10.3%). Although the change in HbA1c was not statistically different across arms, it was clinically significant. Conclusions: Augmenting care as usual with telehealth provided by telephone or tablet can be of benefit in improving glycemic control in NHB and H/L with type 2 diabetes. Larger studies need to explore this further.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health
Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
Molecular Medicine; Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention