Effect of nurse-led randomised control trials on cardiovascular risk factors and HbA1c in diabetes patients: A meta-analysis

Barbara Daly, Catherine Jia Lin Tian, Robert Keith Rhodes Scragg
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2017, 131: 187-199
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified 42 randomised control trials comparing a nurse-led intervention with 'usual care' to quantify their effect on glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and major cardiovascular risk factors in diabetes patients. All relevant databases were systematically searched for publications to February 2016: MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE and Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). The 42 trials recruited 9955 diabetes patients (5022 randomised to intervention and 4933 to 'usual care'). For patients receiving the nurse-led intervention, compared with 'usual care', there were small but significant mean reductions for HbA1c [-0.28%; 95% CI -0.38%, -0.18%; p-value<0.0001, n=6920] and serum triglyceride levels [-0.27mmol/L; 95% CI -0.49, -0.06; p=0.01, n=1169], and a greater proportion of patients stopped smoking [risk ratio=2.70; 95% CI 1.35, 5.43; p=0.005, n=1890 patients]. Mean reductions for systolic [-1.84mmHg; 95% CI -3.97, -0.10; p=0.06, 4241 patients] and diastolic [-0.95mmHg; 95% CI -2.15, -0.25; p=0.12, 3811 patients] blood pressures trended towards significance. There were no significant mean reductions for body mass index or serum cholesterol. Nurse-led interventions produced greater improvements than 'usual care' for HbA1c, serum triglyceride and smoking cessation and support an increased independent role for nurses in diabetes management.

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