Type 1 diabetes mellitus: can coaching improve health outcomes?

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the introduction of coaching in the interdisciplinary care of individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus in the public health care system. Subjects and methods: Ten patients routinely attending a public health care service and with a glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level above 75% participated in eight coaching sessions. This study evaluated the patients' self-management of the disease and personal behavior. The participants were assessed at the beginning of the program and on two occasions after the intervention, with evaluation of biochemical and anthropometric data, and frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). Questionnaires were applied during these evaluations to analyze emotional burden (B-PAID), medication adherence (Morisky Adherence Scale), and self-efficacy (IMDSES). Results HbA1c had a median level of 8.0% (range 76-10.3%) at the beginning of the study and reduced significantly 3 months after initiation of the intervention (7.78% [6.5-10%], p = 0.028), with no significant increase at 6 months (8.3% [713-9.27%], p = 0.386). SMBG improved significantly from the beginning to the end of the study, with the median number of glucose tests per week varying from 16.5 (range 0-42) at baseline to 29.0 (7-42) at 3 months and 27.5 (10-48) at 6 months (p = 0.047). No significant differences were observed in anthropometric parameters or in the scores of the instruments between the three measurements. Conclusion: A coaching intervention focused on patients' values and sense of purpose may provide added benefit to traditional diabetes education programs and could be an auxiliary method to help individuals with type 1 diabetes achieve their treatment goals.