OBJECTIVE: To develop and test an inexpensive visual tool to help patients with diabetes improve glycemic control.
METHODS: A multidisciplinary team developed a 1-page form, the “Take-home Diabetes Record” (THDR), providing feedback to patients by displaying per cent glycosylated hemoglobin (GHb) values graphically over time, with target levels highlighted. Patients with type 2 diabetes in an inner-city clinic were randomized to THDR use (n = 57) or not (n = 70) over 15 months. Self-care activities were discussed, linked with GHb results, and charted at each clinic visit. Initial and final GHb were compared.
RESULTS: Mean GHb fell significantly in THDR patients (−0.94, P = .003), but not in control patients (−0.18, P = .36). Mean GHb decrease was greater in THDR patients (P = .047). A greater proportion of THDR patients (51%) than control patients (18%) achieved a decrease in GHb ≥0.9 (P = .001).
CONCLUSIONS: A graph linking GHb and self-care activities shows promise for improving glycemic control.