HealthDay News — There are considerable gaps in primary care physician (PCP) knowledge regarding risk factors that prompt screening for prediabetes and management recommendations for patients with prediabetes, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Eva Tseng, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined PCP knowledge and practice regarding perceived barriers and potential interventions to improving prediabetes mismanagement in a survey administered to U.S. PCPs. A total of 298 eligible participants returned the survey.

The researchers found that PCPs had limited knowledge of risk factors for prediabetes screening and of laboratory diagnostic criteria and management recommendations for prediabetes. Overall, 36 and 43 percent of PCPs, respectively, referred patients to a diabetes prevention lifestyle change program as their initial management approach and discussed starting metformin for prediabetes. PCPs identified barriers to type 2 diabetes prevention at the individual level and system level (e.g., patient lack of motivation and lack of weight loss resources, respectively). Type 2 diabetes preventive efforts would be facilitated by increased access to and insurance coverage of type 2 diabetes prevention programs and coordination of referral of patients to these resources, according to PCP reports.

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“As type 2 diabetes prevention grows through dissemination of evidence-based interventions, increased engagement of PCPs is the next step to addressing the diabetes epidemic,” the authors write.

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