The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is ever increasing and is a particular issue in Newfoundland and Labrador. While guidelines do exist that outline targets to be met for controlling the likelihood of diabetes complications, patient records repeatedly show that patients are not meeting the targets for blood pressure, HbA1c or LDL-cholesterol. There have been various studies carried out on guideline adherence and achieving targets, however, it appears that very little research of this nature has been carried out in a Canadian setting. One could hypothesize that statistics in Canada would be similar to other westernized countries, but hypothesizing is insufficient. Further research needs to be carried out to determine whether this is the case.
This study will yield information on the rate of adherence in one part of our province. This research is valuable in that it provides a starting point for building a profile on the state of diabetes care and management in the family practice setting in Newfoundland. The study has three stages: a) a chart audit, b) a survey of family physician knowledge of targets and medication recommendations in patients with diabetes mellitus and c) focus groups with physicians and patients. This research may contribute to future development of interventions and programs aimed at improving the percentage of patients meeting targets. It will also contribute to education about and primary and secondary prevention of type 2 diabetes.