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Clinical Response to Real-Time Patient-Reported Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

To assess clinician response to real-time patient-reported data about diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) symptoms, we analyzed DPN diagnosis and treatment patterns after administration of a 4-question symptom questionnaire in a large vertically integrated health care system. Retrospective cohort study to analyze data from 160,852 patients screened for DPN symptoms from April 2012 to March 2014. Electronic medical record data were used to study changes in DPN diagnosis, treatment initiation, and treatment intensification. We used logistic regression to study the association of patient characteristics with the odds of clinical response. Of patients queried, 50,684 (31.5%) reported symptoms. Patients reporting DPN symptoms experienced a greater increase in new DPN diagnoses (16 percentage points; p < 0.0001) and medication use (4 percentage points; p < 0.0001) compared with those denying symptoms. Among patients reporting symptoms, women and nonwhite patients were less likely to receive a DPN diagnosis, whereas older patients were more likely to receive a DPN diagnosis. Overall, patients who were older, were Asian (hazard ratio = 0.67, 95% confidence interval = 0.63-0.77), and had lower socioeconomic status (hazard ratio = 0.89, 95% confidence interval = 0.80-0.99) were less likely to be treated. However, these racial and socioeconomic differences were not statistically significant for patients with preexisting DPN diagnoses. Patients' real-time reports of DPN symptoms were associated with increased clinical activity. Patient- and clinician-level factors associated with the likelihood of receiving a DPN diagnosis need further study because a formal diagnosis may be associated with more equitable treatment.

Authors: Banerjee S; Kim E; Parker MM; Gilliam LK; Dlott R; Adams A

Perm J. 2019;23.

PubMed abstract

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