A randomized controlled trial to prevent glycemic relapse in longitudinal diabetes care: Study protocol (NCT00362193)
The purpose of this present study was to evaluate a social support group as an adjunct to an intensive outpatient diabetes training program. Insulin-treated and non-insulin-treated patients (n = 204) were randomized into two groups: the control group received the training program only, whereas the experimental group was offered the same program plus eight support group meetings. At the 7-month follow-up, patients in both groups showed improved metabolic control, diabetes knowledge, frequency of practicing recommended diabetes management behaviors, and emotional adjustment. Although no additional improvement was seen in those outcome measures in patients who attended support group meetings, results of a subjective evaluation of the support group showed that patients experienced positive feelings in the groups that may contribute to patient health. A better understanding of the possible contribution of support groups to health is necessary before such groups are routinely recommended to patients.