[Inpatient medical rehabilitation in diabetes mellitus in light of evidence based practice guidelines: an evaluation on the basis of BfA routine data].Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2003 Apr; 42(2):94-108.R
Multidisciplinary team care is an opportunity to improve the long-term metabolic situation of patients with diabetes mellitus, hence can help reduce the individual and financial burden of diabetes-related complications. The aim of this study is to evaluate the extent to which patients undergoing rehabilitation carried by the German Federal Insurance Institute for Salaried Employees (BfA) were treated in accordance with recent evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on diabetes mellitus.
We extracted specific treatment recommendations relevant to inpatient rehabilitation from national and international evidence-based guidelines and allocated them to general subjects of diabetes care (e. g. [disease specific] education, physical activity, psychosocial interventions). In the "Classification of Therapeutic Procedures (KTL)", an instrument used to classify therapeutic procedures in rehabilitation, we then identified those procedures that represented the recommendations of the guidelines. The coded procedures were allocated to the general aspects of diabetes care, too. In total, 9 "therapeutic modules" were designed, each containing guideline-recommendations and coded procedures. Using the KTL codes documented as a routine in discharge reports, we were able to describe, analyse and evaluate the procedures performed during rehabilitation. The data set we used contained KTL codes and medical information from 9,456 patients whose rehabilitation was carried by the BfA diagnosed with either diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2, who received an inpatient rehabilitation procedure during the years 2000 and 2001.
The number of patients who received at least one procedure out of the particular therapeutic module is as follows (numbers in brackets represent the total number of KTL codes in that therapeutic module): Therapeutic module "Education (3)" - 98.66 %, "Exercise Training (63)" - 92.42 %, "Nutrition Training (14)" - 96.44 %, "Stress (18)" - 35.33 %, "Motivation (15)" - 82.87 %, "Coping Skills (15)" - 27.42 %, "Social Work (26)" - 11.44 %, "Alcohol and Nicotine (24)" - 3.69 %, "Diabetic Complications (81)" - 75.42 %. On average patients received procedures out of 5.2 different therapeutic modules. The results were consistent over subgroups (type 1/type 2 diabetes, men/women) but varied considerably between clinics. The care provided in clinics with higher numbers of diabetic patients is more in line with guideline specifications.
A substantial number of patients received procedures out of the therapeutic modules "Education", "Exercise Training", "Nutrition Training" and "Motivation". In other therapeutic modules (e. g. "Alcohol and Nicotine") deficits were noted. These deficits as well as the substantial variation between clinics demonstrate the need to develop clinical practice guidelines for rehabilitation of patients with diabetes. In principle, the results of this study have to be interpreted carefully because we did not examine to which extent the documented processes are in accordance with the realities.
Inpatient rehabilitation of diabetic patients carried by the BfA can be characterised as multidisciplinary and in accordance with the recommendations of recent evidence-based guidelines. Certain problematic aspects should be put into focus. A guideline taking into account all rehabilitative aspects, including the preparation for and the care after the rehabilitation process, can be instrumental in reducing deficits in rehabilitative care as well as differences between clinics. To gain wide acceptance, guideline development should be coordinated by a scientific institute and involve members of all groups concerned (e. g. the rehabilitative team, GPs, patients). Within certain limits the "KTL" instrument permits evaluation of process quality in rehabilitation of patients with diabetes mellitus.