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1.  Multimorbidity of chronic diseases and health care utilization in general practice 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:61.
Background
Multimorbidity is common among ageing populations and it affects the demand for health services. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between multimorbidity (i.e. the number of diseases and specific combinations of diseases) and the use of general practice services in the Dutch population of 55 years and older.
Methods
Data on diagnosed chronic diseases, contacts (including face-to-face consultations, phone contacts, and home visits), drug prescription rates, and referral rates to specialised care were derived from the Netherlands Information Network of General Practice (LINH), limited to patients whose data were available from 2006 to 2008 (N = 32,583). Multimorbidity was defined as having two or more out of 28 chronic diseases. Multilevel analyses adjusted for age, gender, and clustering of patients in general practices were used to assess the association between multimorbidity and service utilization in 2008.
Results
Patients diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases had on average 18.3 contacts (95% CI 16.8 19.9) per year. This was significantly higher than patients with one chronic disease (11.7 contacts (10.8 12.6)) or without any (6.1 contacts (5.6 6.6)). A higher number of chronic diseases was associated with more contacts, more prescriptions, and more referrals to specialized care. However, the number of contacts per disease decreased with an increasing number of diseases; patients with a single disease had between 9 to 17 contacts a year and patients with five or more diseases had 5 or 6 contacts per disease per year. Contact rates for specific combinations of diseases were lower than what would be expected on the basis of contact rates of the separate diseases.
Conclusion
Multimorbidity is associated with increased health care utilization in general practice, yet the increase declines per additional disease. Still, with the expected rise in multimorbidity in the coming decades more extensive health resources are required.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-61
PMCID: PMC4021063  PMID: 24708798
Multimorbidity; Chronic disease; Epidemiology; Health care utilisation
2.  Peer support to decrease diabetes-related distress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: design of a randomised controlled trial 
Background
Many type 2 diabetes mellitus patients face difficulties self-managing their illness, which can lead to high levels of diabetes-related distress. Diabetes distress may be decreased by peer support, as peers understand and have dealt with similar problems, and can help motivate each other. A recent systematic review concluded that evidence of benefits of peer support in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus is too inconsistent due to weak theoretical foundation of the interventions. This study describes the design of a trial evaluating the effectiveness of a group-based, peer support programme with a strong theoretical foundation on diabetes-related distress in type 2 diabetes patients.
Methods
This is a parallel group randomised controlled trial of a six session group-based peer support intervention, delivered by peer leaders and group psychotherapists, compared with one educational meeting on diabetes. At least 152 patients with a type 2 diabetes duration of three years or more and between 50 and 70 years of age, recruited via their general practitioner, will be randomised to receive the peer support intervention or one educational meeting. The intervention is developed in line with three key stages of research development of the Medical Research Council framework. The primary outcome measure for this study is diabetes-related distress. Secondary outcomes include self-management behaviour, well-being and health-related quality of life. Perceived social support is a process measure. Outcomes will be measured one month before, and 6, and 12 months after the intervention by means of self-reported questionnaires. Analysis will be on an intention-to-treat basis.
Discussion
This article contains a description of the design of a study that will investigate the effect of a group-based, peer support intervention on diabetes-related distress in type 2 diabetes patients. The intervention was developed in recognition of the limited evidence, and the importance of a theoretical foundation and its implementation. Findings will contribute to knowledge in the field of peer support and patient-important outcomes in type 2 diabetes patients.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Registry: NTR3474
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-21
PMCID: PMC3975844  PMID: 24593296
Peer support; Diabetes mellitus type 2; Distress; Randomised controlled trial
3.  Quality of diabetes care in Dutch care groups: no differences between diabetes patients with and without co-morbidity 
Objective
To evaluate the relationship between presence and nature of co-morbidity and quality of care for diabetes patients enrolled in diabetes disease management programmes provided by care groups.
Methods
We performed an observational study within eight Dutch diabetes care groups. Data from patient record systems of care groups and patient questionnaires were used to determine quality of care. Quality of care was measured as provision of the recommended diabetes care, patients’ achievement of recommended clinical outcomes and patients’ perception of coordination and integration of care.
Results
527 diabetes patients without and 1187 diabetes patients with co-morbidity were included. Of the co-morbid patients, 7.8% had concordant co-morbid conditions only, 63.8% had discordant co-morbid diseases only and 28.4% had both types of conditions. Hardly any differences were observed between patients with and without co-morbidity in terms of provided care, achievement of clinical outcomes and perceived coordination and integration of care.
Conclusions
Our study implies that care groups are able to provide similar quality of diabetes care for diabetes patients with and without co-morbidity. Considering the expected developments regarding additional disease management programmes in care groups, it is of importance to monitor quality of care, including patient experiences, for all chronic diseases. It will then become clear whether accountable provider-led organisations such as care groups are able to ensure quality of care for the increasing number of patients with multiple chronic conditions.
PMCID: PMC3886599  PMID: 24409109
bundled payment; care groups; co-morbidity; diabetes; disease management; integrated care; quality of care
4.  Behavior change in a lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes prevention in Dutch primary care: opportunities for intervention content 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:78.
Background
Despite the favorable effects of behavior change interventions on diabetes risk, lifestyle modification is a complicated process. In this study we therefore investigated opportunities for refining a lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes prevention, based on participant perceptions of behavior change progress.
Methods
A 30 month intervention was performed in Dutch primary care among high-risk individuals (FINDRISC-score ≥ 13) and was compared to usual care. Participant perceptions of behavior change progress for losing weight, dietary modification, and increasing physical activity were assessed after18 months with questionnaires. Based on the response, participants were categorized as ‘planners’, ‘initiators’ or ‘achievers’ and frequencies were evaluated in both study groups. Furthermore, participants reported on barriers for lifestyle change.
Results
In both groups, around 80% of all participants (intervention: N = 370; usual care: N = 322) planned change. Except for reducing fat intake (p = 0.08), the number of initiators was significantly higher in the intervention group than in usual care. The percentage of achievers was high for the dietary and exercise objectives (intervention: 81–95%; usual care: 83–93%), but was lower for losing weight (intervention: 67%; usual care: 62%). Important motivational barriers were ‘I already meet the standards’ and ‘I’m satisfied with my current behavior’. Temptation to snack, product taste and lack of time were important volitional barriers.
Conclusions
The results suggest that the intervention supports participants to bridge the gap between motivation and action. Several opportunities for intervention refinement are however revealed, including more stringent criteria for participant inclusion, tools for (self)-monitoring of health, emphasis on the ‘small-step-approach’, and more attention for stimulus control.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register: NTR1082
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-78
PMCID: PMC3706294  PMID: 23758998
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care; Behavior change; Lifestyle intervention
5.  Defining and improving quality management in Dutch diabetes care groups and outpatient clinics: design of the study 
Background
Worldwide, the organisation of diabetes care is changing. As a result general practices and diabetes teams in hospitals are becoming part of new organisations in which multidisciplinary care programs are implemented. In the Netherlands, 97 diabetes care groups and 104 outpatient clinics are working with a diabetes care program. Both types of organisations aim to improve the quality of diabetes care. Therefore, it is essential to understand the comprehensive elements needed for optimal quality management at organisational level. This study aims to assess the current level of diabetes quality management in both care groups and outpatient clinics and its improvement after providing feedback on their quality management system and tailored support.
Methods/design
This study is a before-after study with a one-year follow-up comparing the levels of quality management before and after an intervention to improve diabetes quality management. To assess the status of quality management, online questionnaires were developed based on current literature. They consist of six domains: organisation of care, multidisciplinary teamwork, patient centeredness, performance management, quality improvement policy and management strategies. Based on the questionnaires, respondents will receive feedback on their score in a radar diagram and an elucidating table. They will also be granted access to an online toolbox with instruments that proved to be effective in quality of care improvement and with practical examples. If requested, personal support in implementing these tools will be available. After one year quality management will be measured again using the same questionnaire.
Discussion
This study will reveal a nationwide picture of quality management in diabetes care groups and outpatient clinics in the Netherlands and evaluate the effect of offering tailored support. The operationalisation of quality management on organisational level may be of interest for other countries as well.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-129
PMCID: PMC3623730  PMID: 23561032
Type 2 diabetes; Quality management; Quality improvement; Care groups; Outpatient clinics; Questionnaire; Integrated care; Shared care; Disease management
6.  Measuring chronic care management experience of patients with diabetes: PACIC and PACIC+ validation 
Background
The patient assessment of chronic illness care (PACIC) is a promising instrument to evaluate the chronic care experiences of patients, yet additional validation is needed to improve its usefulness.
Methods
A total of 1941 patients with diabetes completed the questionnaire. Reliability coefficients and factor analyses were used to psychometrically test the PACIC and PACIC+ (i.e. PACIC extended with six additional multidisciplinary team functioning items to improve content validity). Intra-class correlations were computed to identify the extent to which variation in scores can be attributed to GP practices.
Results
The PACIC and PACIC+ showed a good psychometric quality (Cronbach’s alpha’s >0.9). Explorative factor analyses showed inconclusive results. Confirmative factor analysis showed that none of the factor structures had an acceptable fit (RMSEA>0.10). In addition, 5.1 to 5.4% of the total variation was identified at the GP practice level.
Conclusion
The PACIC and PACIC+ are reliable instruments to measure the chronic care management experiences of patients. The PACIC+ is preferred because it also includes multidisciplinary coordination and cooperation—one of the central pillars of chronic care management—with good psychometric quality. Previously identified subscales should be used with caution. Both PACIC instruments are useful in identifying GP practice variation.
PMCID: PMC3601510  PMID: 23593054
chronic care model; patient experience; chronic care management; integrated care; diabetes; PACIC
7.  Multimorbidity and comorbidity in the Dutch population – data from general practices 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:715.
Background
Multimorbidity is increasingly recognized as a major public health challenge of modern societies. However, knowledge about the size of the population suffering from multimorbidity and the type of multimorbidity is scarce. The objective of this study was to present an overview of the prevalence of multimorbidity and comorbidity of chronic diseases in the Dutch population and to explore disease clustering and common comorbidities.
Methods
We used 7 years data (2002–2008) of a large Dutch representative network of general practices (212,902 patients). Multimorbidity was defined as having two or more out of 29 chronic diseases. The prevalence of multimorbidity was calculated for the total population and by sex and age group. For 10 prevalent diseases among patients of 55 years and older (N = 52,014) logistic regressions analyses were used to study disease clustering and descriptive analyses to explore common comorbid diseases.
Results
Multimorbidity of chronic diseases was found among 13% of the Dutch population and in 37% of those older than 55 years. Among patients over 55 years with a specific chronic disease more than two-thirds also had one or more other chronic diseases. Most disease pairs occurred more frequently than would be expected if diseases had been independent. Comorbidity was not limited to specific combinations of diseases; about 70% of those with a disease had one or more extra chronic diseases recorded which were not included in the top five of most common diseases.
Conclusion
Multimorbidity is common at all ages though increasing with age, with over two-thirds of those with chronic diseases and aged 55 years and older being recorded with multimorbidity. Comorbidity encompassed many different combinations of chronic diseases. Given the ageing population, multimorbidity and its consequences should be taken into account in the organization of care in order to avoid fragmented care, in medical research and healthcare policy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-715
PMCID: PMC3490727  PMID: 22935268
Multimorbidity; Comorbidity; Chronic disease; Epidemiology; Prevalence
8.  Implementation of a lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes prevention in Dutch primary care: opportunities for intervention delivery 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:79.
Background
As in clinical practice resources may be limited compared to experimental settings, translation of evidence-based lifestyle interventions into daily life settings is challenging. In this study we therefore evaluated the implementation of the APHRODITE lifestyle intervention for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in Dutch primary care. Based on this evaluation we discuss opportunities for refining intervention delivery.
Methods
A 2.5-year intervention was performed in 14 general practices in the Netherlands among individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes (FINDRISC-score ≥ 13) (n = 479) and was compared to usual care (n = 446). Intervention consisted of individual lifestyle counselling by nurse practitioners (n = 24) and GPs (n = 48) and group-consultations. Drop-out and attendance were registered during the programme. After the intervention, satisfaction with the programme and perceived implementation barriers were assessed with questionnaires.
Results
Drop-out was modest (intervention: 14.6 %; usual care: 13.2 %) and attendance at individual consultations was high (intervention: 80-97 %; usual care: 86-94 %). Providers were confident about diabetes prevention by lifestyle intervention in primary care. Participants were more satisfied with counselling from nurse practitioners than from GPs. A major part of the GPs reported low self-efficacy regarding dietary guidance. Lack of counselling time (60 %), participant motivation (12 %), and financial reimbursement (11 %) were regarded by providers as important barriers for intervention implementation.
Conclusions
High participant compliance and a positive attitude of providers make primary care a suitable setting for diabetes prevention by lifestyle counselling. Results support a role for the nurse practitioner as the key player in guiding lifestyle modification. Further research is needed on strategies that could increase cost-effectiveness, such as more stringent criteria for participant inclusion, group-counselling, more tailor-made counselling and integration of screening and / or interventions for different disorders.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-79
PMCID: PMC3457845  PMID: 22873753
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care; Lifestyle intervention; Implementation
9.  Needs and barriers to improve the collaboration in oral anticoagulant therapy: a qualitative study 
Background
Oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) involves many health care disciplines. Even though collaboration between care professionals is assumed to improve the quality of OAT, very little research has been done into the practice of OAT management to arrange and manage the collaboration. This study aims to identify the problems in collaboration experienced by the care professionals involved, the solutions they proposed to improve collaboration, and the barriers they encountered to the implementation of these solutions.
Methods
In the Netherlands, intensive follow-up of OAT is provided by specialized anticoagulant clinics (ACs). Sixty-eight semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 103 professionals working at an AC. These semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively. Wagner's chronic care model (CCM) and Cabana's framework for improvement were used to categorize the results.
Results
AC professionals experienced three main bottlenecks in collaboration: lack of knowledge (mostly of other professionals), lack of consensus on OAT, and limited information exchange between professionals. They mentioned several solutions to improve collaboration, especially solutions of CCM's decision support component (i.e. education, regular meetings, and agreements and protocols). Education is considered a prerequisite for the successful implementation of other proposed solutions such as developing a multidisciplinary protocol and changing the allocation of tasks. The potential of the health care organization to improve collaboration seemed to be underestimated by professionals. They experienced several barriers to the successful implementation of the proposed solutions. Most important barriers were the lack motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time to establish collaboration.
Conclusions
This study revealed that the collaboration in OAT is limited by a lack of knowledge, a lack of consensus, and a limited information exchange. Education was identified as the best way to improve collaboration and considered a prerequisite for a successful implementation of other proposed solutions. Hence, the implementation sequence is of importance in order to improve the collaboration successfully. First step is to establish alignment regarding collaboration with all involved professionals to encounter the lack of motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-76
PMCID: PMC3268100  PMID: 22192088
10.  Pay-for-performance in disease management: a systematic review of the literature 
Background
Pay-for-performance (P4P) is increasingly implemented in the healthcare system to encourage improvements in healthcare quality. P4P is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for meeting pre-established targets for delivery of healthcare services by financial incentives. Based on their performance, healthcare providers receive either additional or reduced payment. Currently, little is known about P4P schemes intending to improve delivery of chronic care through disease management. The objectives of this paper are therefore to provide an overview of P4P schemes used to stimulate delivery of chronic care through disease management and to provide insight into their effects on healthcare quality and costs.
Methods
A systematic PubMed search was performed for English language papers published between 2000 and 2010 describing P4P schemes related to the implementation of disease management. Wagner's chronic care model was used to make disease management operational.
Results
Eight P4P schemes were identified, introduced in the USA (n = 6), Germany (n = 1), and Australia (n = 1). Five P4P schemes were part of a larger scheme of interventions to improve quality of care, whereas three P4P schemes were solely implemented. Most financial incentives were rewards, selective, and granted on the basis of absolute performance. More variation was found in incented entities and the basis for providing incentives. Information about motivation, certainty, size, frequency, and duration of the financial incentives was generally limited. Five studies were identified that evaluated the effects of P4P on healthcare quality. Most studies showed positive effects of P4P on healthcare quality. No studies were found that evaluated the effects of P4P on healthcare costs.
Conclusion
The number of P4P schemes to encourage disease management is limited. Hardly any information is available about the effects of such schemes on healthcare quality and costs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-272
PMCID: PMC3218039  PMID: 21999234
11.  Targeted versus universal prevention. a resource allocation model to prioritize cardiovascular prevention 
Background
Diabetes mellitus brings an increased risk for cardiovascular complications and patients profit from prevention. This prevention also suits the general population. The question arises what is a better strategy: target the general population or diabetes patients.
Methods
A mathematical programming model was developed to calculate optimal allocations for the Dutch population of the following interventions: smoking cessation support, diet and exercise to reduce overweight, statins, and medication to reduce blood pressure. Outcomes were total lifetime health care costs and QALYs. Budget sizes were varied and the division of resources between the general population and diabetes patients was assessed.
Results
Full implementation of all interventions resulted in a gain of 560,000 QALY at a cost of €640 per capita, about €12,900 per QALY on average. The large majority of these QALY gains could be obtained at incremental costs below €20,000 per QALY. Low or high budgets (below €9 or above €100 per capita) were predominantly spent in the general population. Moderate budgets were mostly spent in diabetes patients.
Conclusions
Major health gains can be realized efficiently by offering prevention to both the general and the diabetic population. However, a priori setting a specific distribution of resources is suboptimal. Resource allocation models allow accounting for capacity constraints and program size in addition to efficiency.
doi:10.1186/1478-7547-9-14
PMCID: PMC3200148  PMID: 21974836
12.  Type 2 Diabetes and Cognitive Decline in Middle-Aged Men and Women 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(9):1964-1969.
OBJECTIVE
To test the hypothesis that type 2 diabetes is associated with greater decline in cognitive function in middle-aged individuals.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In the Dutch prospective Doetinchem Cohort Study, cognitive functioning was measured twice within a 5-year time interval in 2,613 men and women. Participants were aged 43–70 years at baseline (1995–2002), and no one had a history of stroke. Change in scores on global cognitive function as well as on specific cognitive function domains (memory, speed of cognitive processes, and cognitive flexibility) were compared for respondents with and without type 2 diabetes (verified by the general practitioner or random plasma glucose levels ≥11.1 mmol/l).
RESULTS
At the 5-year follow-up, the decline in global cognitive function in diabetic patients was 2.6 times greater than that in individuals without diabetes. For individuals aged ≥60 years, patients with incident and prevalent diabetes showed a 2.5 and 3.6 times greater decline, respectively, in cognitive flexibility than individuals without diabetes. For most cognitive domains, the magnitude of cognitive decline in patients with incident diabetes was intermediate between that of individuals without diabetes and that of patients with diabetes at baseline.
CONCLUSIONS
Middle-aged individuals with type 2 diabetes showed a greater decline in cognitive function than middle-aged individuals without diabetes.
doi:10.2337/dc09-2038
PMCID: PMC2928345  PMID: 20519662
13.  The effectiveness of case management for comorbid diabetes type 2 patients; the CasCo study. Design of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:68.
Background
More than half of the patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients are diagnosed with one or more comorbid disorders. They can participate in several single-disease oriented disease management programs, which may lead to fragmented care because these programs are not well prepared for coordinating care between programs. Comorbid patients are therefore at risk for suboptimal treatment, unsafe care, inefficient use of health care services and unnecessary costs. Case management is a possible model to counteract fragmented care for comorbid patients. It includes evidence-based optimal care, but is tailored to the individual patients' preferences.
The objective of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a case management program, in addition to a diabetes management program, on the quality of care for comorbid T2DM patients.
Methods/Design
The study is a randomized controlled trial among patients with T2DM and at least one comorbid chronic disease (N = 230), who already participate in a diabetes management program. Randomization will take place at the level of the patients in general practices. Trained practice nurses (case managers) will apply a case management program in addition to the diabetes management program. The case management intervention is based on the Guided Care model and includes six elements; assessing health care needs, planning care, create access to other care providers and community resources, monitoring, coordinating care and recording of all relevant information. Patients in the control group will continue their participation in the diabetes management program and receive care-as-usual from their general practitioner and other care providers.
Discussion
We expect that the case management program, which includes better structured care based on scientific evidence and adjusted to the patients' needs and priorities, will improve the quality of care coordination from both the patients' and caregivers' perspective and will result in less consumption of health care services.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR1847
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-68
PMCID: PMC3142502  PMID: 21729265
14.  Differences in patient outcomes and chronic care management of oral anticoagulant therapy: an explorative study 
Background
The oral anticoagulant therapy - provided to prevent thrombosis - is known to be associated with substantial avoidable hospitalization. Improving the quality of the oral anticoagulant therapy could avoid drug related hospitalizations. Therefore, this study compared the patient outcomes between Dutch anticoagulant clinic (AC) regions taking the variation in chronic care management into account in order to explore whether chronic care management elements could improve the quality of oral anticoagulant therapy.
Methods
Two data sources were combined. The first source was a questionnaire that was send to all ACs in the Netherlands in 2008 (response = 100%) to identify the application of chronic care management elements in the AC regions. The Chronic Care Model of Wagner was used to make the concept of chronic care management operational. The second source was the report of the Dutch National Network of ACs which contains patient outcomes of the ACs.
Results
Patient outcomes achieved by the ACs were good, yet differences existed; for instance the percentage of patients in the appropriate therapeutic ranges varied from 67 to 87% between AC regions. Moreover, differences existed in the use of chronic care management elements of the chronic care model, for example 12% of the ACs had multidisciplinary meetings and 58% of the ACs had formal agreements with at least one hospital within their region. Patient outcomes were significantly associated with patient orientation and the number of specialized nurses versus doctors (p-values < 0.05). Furthermore, the overall extent to which chronic care management elements were applied was positively associated with patient outcomes (p-values < 0.05).
Conclusions
Substantial differences in the patient outcomes as well as chronic care management of oral anticoagulant therapy existed. Since our results showed a positive association between overall application of chronic care management and patient outcomes, additional research is needed to fully understand the working mechanism of chronic care management.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-18
PMCID: PMC3040705  PMID: 21272303
15.  Ethnic differences in total and HDL cholesterol among Turkish, Moroccan and Dutch ethnic groups living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:740.
Background
High total cholesterol and low HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol are important determinants of cardiovascular disease. Little is known about dyslipidemia among Turkish and Moroccan migrants, two of the largest ethnic minority groups in several European countries. This study examines ethnic differences in total and HDL cholesterol levels between Dutch, Turkish and Moroccan ethnic groups.
Methods
Data were collected in the setting of a general health survey, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2004. Total response rate was 45% (Dutch: 46%, Turks: 50%, Moroccans: 39%). From 1,220 adults information on history of hypercholesterolemia, lifestyle and demographic background was obtained via health interviews. In a physical examination measurements of anthropometry and blood pressure were performed and blood was collected. Total and HDL cholesterol were determined in serum.
Results
Total cholesterol levels were lower and hypercholesterolemia was less prevalent among the Moroccan and Turkish than the Dutch ethnic population. HDL cholesterol was also relatively low among these migrant groups. The resulting total/HDL cholesterol ratio was particularly unfavourable among the Turkish ethnic group. Controlling for Body Mass Index and alcohol abstinence substantially attenuated ethnic differences in HDL cholesterol levels and total/HDL cholesterol ratio.
Conclusions
Total cholesterol levels are relatively low in Turkish and Moroccan migrants. However part of this advantage is off-set by their relatively low levels of HDL cholesterol, resulting in an unfavourable total/HDL cholesterol ratio, particularly in the Turkish population. Important factors in explaining ethnic differences are the relatively high Body Mass Index and level of alcohol abstinence in these migrant groups.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-740
PMCID: PMC3002334  PMID: 21118503
16.  Cost-Effectiveness of Lifestyle Modification in Diabetic Patients 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(8):1453-1458.
OBJECTIVE
To explore the potential long-term health and economic consequences of lifestyle interventions for diabetic patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A literature search was performed to identify interventions for diabetic patients in which lifestyle issues were addressed. We selected recent (2003–2008), randomized controlled trials with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. The long-term outcomes for these interventions, if implemented in the Dutch diabetic population, were simulated with a computer-based model. Costs and effects were discounted at, respectively, 4 and 1.5% annually. A lifelong time horizon was applied. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed, taking account of variability in intervention costs and (long-term) treatment effects.
RESULTS
Seven trials with 147–5,145 participants met our predefined criteria. All interventions improved cardiovascular risk factors at ≥1 year follow-up and were projected to reduce cardiovascular morbidity over lifetime. The interventions resulted in an average gain of 0.01–0.14 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) per participant. Health benefits were generally achieved at reasonable costs (≤€50,000/QALY). A self-management education program (X-PERT) and physical activity counseling achieved the best results with ≥0.10 QALYs gained and ≥99% probability to be very cost-effective (≤€20,000/QALY).
CONCLUSIONS
Implementation of lifestyle interventions would probably yield important health benefits at reasonable costs. However, essential evidence for long-term maintenance of health benefits was limited. Future research should be focused on long-term effectiveness and multiple treatment strategies should be compared to determine incremental costs and benefits of one over the other.
doi:10.2337/dc09-0363
PMCID: PMC2713648  PMID: 19435958
17.  Do parents who smoke underutilize health care services for their children? A cross sectional study within the longitudinal PIAMA study 
Background
A higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and an associated increase in health care utilization among children with parents who smoke is to be expected. From previous studies however, it appears that parents who smoke may underutilize health services for their children, especially with respect to respiratory care. This study explores the validity and generalizability of the previous assumption.
Methods
Data were obtained from a Dutch birth-cohort study; the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) project. Information regarding parental smoking, the child's respiratory symptoms and health care use and potential confounders were obtained by postal questionnaires. Multivariate logistic models were used to relate parental smoking to the child's respiratory symptoms and health care use.
Results
The study comprised 3,564, 4-year old children. In the crude analysis, respiratory symptoms were more frequent among children with a parent who smoked, while health care utilization for respiratory symptoms was not significantly different between children with or without a parent who smoked. In the multivariate analyses, maternal smoking had a larger impact on the child's respiratory symptoms and health care use as compared to paternal smoking. Maternal smoking was positively associated with mild respiratory symptoms of the child, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.50 (1.19–1.91), but not with severe respiratory symptoms AOR 1.03 (0.75–1.40). Among children with mild respiratory symptoms, children with a mother who smoked were less likely to be taken to the general practitioner (GP) for respiratory symptoms, than children with mothers who did not smoke, AOR 0.58 (0.33–1.01). This finding was less pronounced among children with severe respiratory symptoms AOR 0.86 (0.49–1.52). Neither GP visits for non-respiratory symptoms nor specialized care for respiratory disease were significantly associated with parental smoking.
Conclusion
Mothers who smoke appear to underutilize health care for their children with mild respiratory symptoms. Health care workers should be informed about this phenomenon. Inquiring after the respiratory health of the children during regular visits to healthy baby clinics may help to track potential underutilization of care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-7-83
PMCID: PMC1899488  PMID: 17565678
18.  Comorbidity in patients with diabetes mellitus: impact on medical health care utilization 
Background
Comorbidity has been shown to intensify health care utilization and to increase medical care costs for patients with diabetes. However, most studies have been focused on one health care service, mainly hospital care, or limited their analyses to one additional comorbid disease, or the data were based on self-reported questionnaires instead of health care registration data. The purpose of this study is to estimate the effects a broad spectrum of of comorbidities on the type and volume of medical health care utilization of patients with diabetes.
Methods
By linking general practice and hospital based registrations in the Netherlands, data on comorbidity and health care utilization of patients with diabetes (n = 7,499) were obtained. Comorbidity was defined as diabetes-related comorbiiabetes-related comorbidity. Multilevel regression analyses were applied to estimate the effects of comorbidity on health care utilization.
Results
Our results show that both diabetes-related and non diabetes-related comorbidity increase the use of medical care substantially in patients with diabetes. Having both diabeterelated and non diabetes-related comorbidity incrases the demand for health care even more. Differences in health care utilization patterns were observed between the comorbidities.
Conclusion
Non diabetes-related comorbidity increases the health care demand as much as diabetes-related comorbidity. Current single-disease approach of integrated diabetes care should be extended with additional care modules, which must be generic and include multiple diseases in order to meet the complex health care demands of patients with diabetes in the future.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-6-84
PMCID: PMC1534031  PMID: 16820048
19.  Depression and Quality of Life in Patients with Diabetes: A Systematic Review from the European Depression in Diabetes (EDID) Research Consortium 
Current Diabetes Reviews  2009;5(2):112-119.
Diabetes patients are known to have a worse quality of life than individuals without diabetes. They also have an increased risk for depressive symptoms, which may have an additional negative effect on their quality of life. This systematic review summarizes the current knowledge on the association between depressive symptoms and quality of life in individuals with diabetes. A systematic literature search using MEDLINE, Psychinfo, Social SciSearch, SciSearch and EMBASE was conducted from January 1990 until September 2007. We identified studies that compared quality of life between diabetic individuals with and without depressive symptoms. Twenty studies were identified, including eighteen cross-sectional and two longitudinal studies. Quality of life was measured as generic, diabetes specific and domain specific quality of life. All studies reported a negative association between depressive symptoms and at least one aspect of quality of life in people with diabetes. Diabetic individuals with depressive symptoms also had a severely lower diabetes specific quality of life. Generic and domain specific quality of life were found to be mild to moderately lower in the presence of depressive symptoms. Therefore, increased awareness and monitoring for depression is needed within different diabetes care settings.
doi:10.2174/157339909788166828
PMCID: PMC2764861  PMID: 19442096
Diabetes; Depression; Quality of life; Review.

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