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Community pharmacy, Dietitians, Collaboration, Type 2 diabetes
Background: In Japan, there is a pressing need to improve community health care to cope with the rapid aging of the population. In this context, there have been private-sector-led approaches to enhance community dietary support by employing dietitians in pharmacies. Objectives: To evaluate the effects of collaboration between dietitians and pharmacists working in pharmacies to support patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: A single group pre- and post-comparative study was conducted on patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The intervention period was 6 months. During the intervention period, the dietitians provided dietary support to the patients after first providing them with medication guidance. The contents of these instructions were shared with the pharmacists. The contents of the instructions were recorded, and confirmed in monthly meetings with the principal investigator. The primary endpoint was the Hemoglobin A1c(HbA1c) level, and the secondary endpoints were high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), low-density lipoproteincholesterol (LDL-c), Triglyceride (TG), degree of dietary self-management, degree of unbalanced diet and satisfaction with pharmacy services. Results: Eight patients completed the intervention period. The first patient’s intervention started in March 2021, and all patients’ interventions were completed by December 2021. The primary endpoint, the mean (SD) HbA1c, was 7.26 (0.96) at baseline and decreased to 6.63 (0.79) after 6 months (p=0.028, r=0.72). Also, the HDL-c increased from 55.00 (14.81) to 63.14 (10.11) (p=0.110, r=0.51) and the Diabetes Mellitus Dietary Self Efficacy Scale score increased from 51.67 (8.31) to 60.17 (8.45) (p=0.025, r=0.79) and the patient satisfaction score increased 24.0 (4.0) to 26.1 (3.3) (p=0.161, r=0.51). Moderate decreases were also observed in LDL-c (p=0.235, r=0.47) and TG (p=0.368, r=0.37). Conclusions: Collaboration between dietitians and pharmacists working in pharmacies may improve the dietary habits and glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes. To verify this hypothesis more reliably, randomized controlled trials need to be conducted.
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