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Nurse-Led Care Seems to Improve Markers of Chronic Disease — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 15, 2014

Nurse-Led Care Seems to Improve Markers of Chronic Disease

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Nurse-led interventions are associated with improved biomarkers in patients with common chronic diseases, according to a meta-analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined the results of 18 studies involving roughly 23,000 patients. Nurse-led protocols (e.g., nurses adjusting medications) were compared with usual care for the management of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.

Overall, outcomes favored nurse-led care:

  • Hemoglobin A1C levels decreased by roughly 0.4% with nurse-led versus usual care.

  • Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was reduced by 3.68 mm Hg and 1.56 mm Hg, respectively.

  • Total cholesterol was reduced by 0.24 mmol/L and LDL cholesterol by 0.31 mmol/L, but these reductions were not statistically significant.

Editorialists say the findings are "welcome news," while noting that the meta-analysis provided little information about the protocols used. In addition, most of the studies were done in Western Europe, making their generalizability to the U.S. questionable.

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