Open Access Study protocol

A randomised controlled trial of a patient based Diabetes recall and Management system: the DREAM trial: A study protocol [ISRCTN32042030]

Martin Eccles1, Gillian Hawthorne2, Paula Whitty3*, Nick Steen1, Alessandra Vanoli1, Jeremy Grimshaw4 and Linda Wood5

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Health Services Research, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

2 Diabetes Centre, Newcastle Primary Care Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

3 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

4 Ottawa Health Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

5 Northern and Yorkshire Regional Office, Diabetes UK, Darlington, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2002, 2:5  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-2-5

Published: 21 March 2002



Whilst there is broad agreement on what constitutes high quality health care for people with diabetes, there is little consensus on the most efficient way of delivering it. Structured recall systems can improve the quality of care but the systems evaluated to date have been of limited sophistication and the evaluations have been carried out in small numbers of relatively unrepresentative settings. Hartlepool, Easington and Stockton currently operate a computerised diabetes register which has to date produced improvements in the quality of care but performance has now plateaued leaving substantial scope for further improvement. This study will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of an area wide 'extended' system incorporating a full structured recall and management system, actively involving patients and including clinical management prompts to primary care clinicians based on locally-adapted evidence based guidelines.


The study design is a two-armed cluster randomised controlled trial of 61 practices incorporating evaluations of the effectiveness of the system, its economic impact and its impact on patient wellbeing and functioning.