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      Does task delegation to non-physician health professionals improve quality of diabetes care? Results of a scoping review

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          Abstract

          Objective

          As a result of unhealthy lifestyles, reduced numbers of healthcare providers are having to deal with an increasing number of diabetes patients. In light of this shortage of physicians and nursing staff, new concepts of care are needed. The aim of this scoping review is to review the literature and examine the effects of task delegation to non-physician health professionals, with a further emphasis on inter-professional care.

          Research design and methods

          Systematic searches were performed using the PubMed, Embase and Google Scholar databases to retrieve papers published between January 1994 and December 2017. Randomised/non-randomised controlled trials and studies with a before/after design that described the delegation of tasks from physicians to non-physicians in diabetes care were included in the search. This review is a subgroup analysis that further assesses all the studies conducted using a team-based approach.

          Results

          A total of 45 studies with 12,092 patients met the inclusion criteria. Most of the interventions were performed in an outpatient setting with type-2 diabetes mellitus patients. The non-physician healthcare professionals involved in the team were nurses, pharmacists, community health workers and dietitians. Most studies showed significant improvements in glycaemic control and high patient satisfaction, while there were no indications that the task delegation affected quality of life scores.

          Conclusions

          The findings of the review suggest that task delegation can provide equivalent glycaemic control and potentially lead to an improvement in the quality of care. However, this review revealed a lack of clinical endpoints, as well as an inconsistency between the biochemical outcome parameters and the patient-centred outcome parameters. Given the vast differences between the individual healthcare systems used around the world, further high-quality research with an emphasis on long-term outcome effects and the expertise of non-physicians is needed.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 94

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          The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection.

          A 36-item short-form (SF-36) was constructed to survey health status in the Medical Outcomes Study. The SF-36 was designed for use in clinical practice and research, health policy evaluations, and general population surveys. The SF-36 includes one multi-item scale that assesses eight health concepts: 1) limitations in physical activities because of health problems; 2) limitations in social activities because of physical or emotional problems; 3) limitations in usual role activities because of physical health problems; 4) bodily pain; 5) general mental health (psychological distress and well-being); 6) limitations in usual role activities because of emotional problems; 7) vitality (energy and fatigue); and 8) general health perceptions. The survey was constructed for self-administration by persons 14 years of age and older, and for administration by a trained interviewer in person or by telephone. The history of the development of the SF-36, the origin of specific items, and the logic underlying their selection are summarized. The content and features of the SF-36 are compared with the 20-item Medical Outcomes Study short-form.
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            Global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2010 and 2030.

            We estimated the number of people worldwide with diabetes for the years 2010 and 2030. Studies from 91 countries were used to calculate age- and sex-specific diabetes prevalences, which were applied to national population estimates, to determine national diabetes prevalences for all 216 countries for 2010 and 2030. Studies were identified using Medline, and contact with all national and regional International Diabetes Federation offices. Studies were included if diabetes prevalence was assessed using a population-based methodology, and was based on World Health Organization or American Diabetes Association diagnostic criteria for at least three separate age-groups within the 20-79 year range. Self-report or registry data were used if blood glucose assessment was not available. The world prevalence of diabetes among adults (aged 20-79 years) will be 6.4%, affecting 285 million adults, in 2010, and will increase to 7.7%, and 439 million adults by 2030. Between 2010 and 2030, there will be a 69% increase in numbers of adults with diabetes in developing countries and a 20% increase in developed countries. These predictions, based on a larger number of studies than previous estimates, indicate a growing burden of diabetes, particularly in developing countries. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                11 October 2019
                2019
                : 14
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Institute for Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
                [2 ] Faculty of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
                [3 ] West-German Center of Diabetes and Health, Düsseldorf Catholic Hospital Group, Düsseldorf, Germany
                [4 ] Department of General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Gebäude MAFO 1/61, Bochum, Germany
                [5 ] Institute of General Practice and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany
                University of Newcastle, AUSTRALIA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                PONE-D-18-06658
                10.1371/journal.pone.0223159
                6788697
                31603900
                © 2019 Mirhoseiny et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Counts
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, Pages: 24
                Product
                Funding
                The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Collection Review
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Endocrinology
                Endocrine Disorders
                Diabetes Mellitus
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Metabolic Disorders
                Diabetes Mellitus
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Medical Personnel
                Nurses
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Health Care Providers
                Nurses
                Medicine and health sciences
                Diagnostic medicine
                Diabetes diagnosis and management
                HbA1c
                Biology and life sciences
                Biochemistry
                Proteins
                Hemoglobin
                HbA1c
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Patients
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Medical Personnel
                Medical Doctors
                Physicians
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Health Care Providers
                Medical Doctors
                Physicians
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Community Based Intervention
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Public and Occupational Health
                Preventive Medicine
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Medical Personnel
                Pharmacists
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

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