PC Diabetes Research Receives National Publication

Work on Diabetes Self-Management from two Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy professors is being published in a national journal. Dr. Tiffaney Threatt and Dr. Eileen Ward, assistant professors of pharmacy practice, recently had their research accepted for publication in the “Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.”

The manuscript, “Telehealth for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support in an Underserved, Free Clinic Population: A pilot study,” is based on research completed through the College’s wellness center and diabetes self-management education program, located at the School of Pharmacy. Funding for this project was made possible by the BlueCross BlueShield Foundation.

Their study was a pilot project to determine if diabetes education services provided to patients with diabetes through the use of telecommunications could achieve outcomes comparable to face-to-face services. The free clinic population often faces challenges related to difficulty accessing of care, low socio-economics, limited education, and lower health literacy. The provision of telehealth services is for the purpose of allowing patients to receive care/services that might not normally be available in that geographic area under normal circumstances.

Threatt and Ward met with patients face-to-face in the Wellness Center and also with patients in various clinics in the upstate of South Carolina using telecommunication technology.  They met with both programs over a two-to-three month period for a total of four-to-five sessions and measured the change in A1C (average blood sugar level over three months) in both population groups. The research concluded that expanding access to care through the provision of telehealth services in a population that is often faced with challenges related to socioeconomics, limited education, and lower health literacy, is a step toward reducing health disparities and positively impacting care. Average A1C can be improved through the use of telehealth DSME/S services in an underserved, free clinic population.