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Association between education and quality of diabetes care in Switzerland

Authors Flatz A, Casillas A, Stringhini S, Zuercher E, Burnand B, Peytremann-Bridevaux I

Received 6 November 2014

Accepted for publication 15 December 2014

Published 25 February 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 87—92

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S77139

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Aline Flatz, Alejandra Casillas, Silvia Stringhini, Emilie Zuercher, Bernard Burnand, Isabelle Peytremann-Bridevaux

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland

Purpose: Low socioeconomic status is associated with higher prevalence of diabetes, worse outcomes, and worse quality of care. We explored the relationship between education, as a measure of socioeconomic status, and quality of care in the Swiss context.
Patients and methods: Data were drawn from a population-based survey of 519 adults with diabetes during fall 2011 and summer 2012 in a canton of Switzerland. We assessed patients and diabetes characteristics. Eleven indicators of quality of care were considered (six of process and five of outcomes of care). After bivariate analyses, regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, and diabetic complications were performed to assess the relationship between education and quality of care.
Results: Of 11 quality-of-care indicators, three were significantly associated with education: funduscopy (patients with tertiary versus primary education were more likely to get the exam: odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.004–3.3) and two indicators of health-related quality of life (patients with tertiary versus primary education reported better health-related quality of life: Audit of Diabetes-Dependent Quality of Life: β=0.6 [95% CI, 0.2–0.97]; SF-12 mean physical component summary score: β=3.6 [95% CI, 0.9–6.4]).
Conclusion: Our results suggest the presence of educational inequalities in quality of diabetes care. These findings may help health professionals focus on individuals with increased needs to decrease health inequalities.

Keywords: primary care, education, quality of care, diabetes

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