Objective To assess the effect of additional training of practice nurses and general practitioners in patient centred care on the lifestyle and psychological and physiological status of patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
Design Pragmatic parallel group design, with randomisation between practice teams to routine care (comparison group) or routine care plus additional training (intervention group); analysis at one year, allowing for practice effects and stratifiers; self reporting by patients on communication with practitioners, satisfaction with treatment, style of care, and lifestyle.
Setting 41 practices (21 in intervention group, 20 in comparison group) in a health region in southern England.
Subjects 250/360 patients (aged 30-70 years) diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and completing follow up at one year (142 in intervention group, 108 in comparison group).
Intervention 1.5 days’ group training for the doctors and nurses—introducing evidence for and skills of patient centred care and a patient held booklet encouraging questions.
Main outcome measures Quality of life, wellbeing, haemoglobin A1c and lipid concentrations, blood pressure, body mass index (kg/m2).
Results Compared with patients in the C group, those in the intervention group reported better communication with the doctors (odds ratio 2.8; 95% confidence interval 1.8 to 4.3) and greater treatment satisfaction (1.6; 1.1 to 2.5) and wellbeing (difference in means (d) 2.8; 0.4 to 5.2). However, their body mass index was significantly higher (d=2.0; 0.3 to 3.8), as were triglyceride concentrations (d=0.4 mmol/l; 0.07 to 0.73 mmol/l), whereas knowledge scores were lower (d=−2.74; −0.23 to −5.25). Differences in lifestyle and glycaemic control were not significant.
Conclusions The findings suggest greater attention to the consultation process than to preventive care among trained practitioners; those committed to achieving the benefits of patient centred consulting should not lose the focus on disease management.
Key messagesA training programme in patient centred care for practitioners led to patients with newly diagnosed diabetes reporting better communication with doctors, greater wellbeing, and greater treatment satisfaction at one year, without loss of glycaemic controlKnowledge scores were lower and weight and other cardiovascular risk factors higher among patients attending trained practice teamsTrained practitioners may have found it difficult to integrate attention to wellbeing with management of disease riskProfessionals using patient centred consulting should not lose the focus on disease