Intended for healthcare professionals

General Practice

Randomised controlled trial of patient centred care of diabetes in general practice: impact on current wellbeing and future disease risk

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 31 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1202
  1. Ann Louise Kinmonth, professora,
  2. Alison Woodcock, senior research fellowa,
  3. Simon Griffin, Wellcome training fellowa,
  4. Nicki Spiegal, management consultantb,
  5. Michael J Campbell, senior lecturer in medical statisticsc,
  6. The Diabetes Care from Diagnosis Research Team
  1. Primary Medical Care Group (Aldermoor Health Centre), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 5ST
  2. Willowbank, Spicers, Ashdell Park, Alton, Hampshire GU34 2SJ
  3. Medical Statistics and Computing, Faculty of Health Medicine and Biological Sciences, University of Southampton
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Ann Louise Kinmonth, General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Cambridge CB2 2SR
  • Accepted 14 August 1998


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 −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.


  • Funding The study was funded by grants from the Medical Research Council; the South and West region's research and development committee; and the British Diabetic Association. SG received a Wellcome health services research training fellowship. Novo Nordisk supplied the booklets for patients.

  • Conflict of interest None.

  • Accepted 14 August 1998
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