The objective of the study was to determine the impact of telemedicine consultations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic on the glycemic control of patients at an endocrinology clinic.
Telemedicine is an essential way to enhance glycemic control of patients with type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) during the COVID-19 pandemic with no significant difference in A1C, according to a poster presented at the virtual 81st American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions.
Although the study suggests that self-monitoring of blood glucose paired with telemedicine consultations is an effective approach for diabetes management, it is unclear whether telemedicine remains effective in the context of the sudden lifestyle changes caused by the pandemic, such as travel restrictions and psychosocial impacts.
The objective of the study was to determine the impact of telemedicine consultations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic on the glycemic control of patients at an endocrinology clinic. Using a retrospective chart review, the study authors analyzed 300 T1D and T2D patients who were seen at least once within the 6 months pre- and post-COVID-19 pandemic restrictions—before and after March 18, 2020. Although the primary outcome measure was hemoglobin A1C, the most recent A1C was used for patients with more than 1 A1C value in each time frame.
The results showed that there was no significant difference in the pre- and post-COVID-19 A1C values of the entire sample. Further, there was no significant difference in the pre- and post-COVID-19 A1C values when the sample was stratified by age, diabetes duration, use of a continuous glucose monitor, or use of pump. There was a significant increase in A1C for females post-COVID, but this difference was not observed for males.
The study authors noted that the gender-specific effect of telemedicine consultations during COVID-19 on the glycemic control of females with diabetes indicates a need for further research.
Dissanayake A, Pawlowska M, Schroeder B, et al. Impact of Telemedicine Consultations During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Glycemic Control of Diabetes Patients. Poster presented at: American Diabetes Association 81st Scientific Sessions Virtual; June 25-29, 2021. Accessed June 25, 2021.