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The Effectiveness of Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Improving Glycaemic Control in Adults with Severe Mental Illness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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JournalPLoS ONE
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Dec 2016
DatePublished (current) - 5 Jan 2017
Issue number1
Number of pages31
Pages (from-to)1-31
Original languageEnglish


People with severe mental illness (SMI) have reduced life expectancy compared with the general population, which can be explained partly by their increased risk of diabetes. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine the clinical effectiveness of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for improving glycaemic control in people with SMI (PROSPERO registration: CRD42015015558). A systematic literature search was performed on 30/10/2015 to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in adults with SMI, with or without a diagnosis of diabetes that measured fasting blood glucose or glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). Screening and data extraction were carried out independently by two reviewers. We used random effects meta-analysis to estimate effectiveness, and subgroup analysis and univariate meta-regression to explore heterogeneity. The Cochrane Collaboration's tool was used to assess risk of bias. We found 54 eligible RCTs in 4,392 adults (40 pharmacological, 13 behavioural, one mixed intervention). Data for meta-analysis were available from 48 RCTs (n = 4052). Both pharmacological (mean difference (MD), -0.11mmol/L; 95% confidence interval (CI), [-0.19, -0.02], p = 0.02, n = 2536) and behavioural interventions (MD, -0.28mmol//L; 95% CI, [-0.43, -0.12], p<0.001, n = 956) were effective in lowering fasting glucose, but not HbA1c (pharmacological MD, -0.03%; 95% CI, [-0.12, 0.06], p = 0.52, n = 1515; behavioural MD, 0.18%; 95% CI, [-0.07, 0.42], p = 0.16, n = 140) compared with usual care or placebo. In subgroup analysis of pharmacological interventions, metformin and antipsychotic switching strategies improved HbA1c. Behavioural interventions of longer duration and those including repeated physical activity had greater effects on fasting glucose than those without these characteristics. Baseline levels of fasting glucose explained some of the heterogeneity in behavioural interventions but not in pharmacological interventions. Although the strength of the evidence is limited by inadequate trial design and reporting and significant heterogeneity, there is some evidence that behavioural interventions, antipsychotic switching, and metformin can lead to clinically important improvements in glycaemic measurements in adults with SMI.

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© 2017 Taylor et al.

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