Effective Pharmacological Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy by Nurse Practitioners: Results of an Algorithm-Based Experience

Margot Geerts*, Sabine A. N. T. Landewe-Cleuren, Marleen Kars, Hubertus J. M. Vrijhoef, Nicolaas C. Schaper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective. To improve the care of patients with painful diabetic polyneuropathy (PDP) by a specialized outpatient clinic for individuals referred by general practitioners and to determine the effects on pain, quality of life, and patient satisfaction. Material and Methods. One hundred twenty-one patients were prospectively enrolled. At baseline and after 12 months at end of treatment, patients filled in a set of validated questionnaires on severity and interference of pain, quality of life, anxiety and depression, and patient satisfaction with the service offered. Setting. The outpatient clinic is part of a regional chronic care management program, which includes both hospital-based endocrinologists and general practitioners. Results. Twenty-eight patients (27%) did not need any further treatment after one visit to the outpatient clinic. As initial drug, pregabalin was the most commonly prescribed drug (65%); amitriptyline was prescribed in only 30% due to its contraindications. Improvements were found in all pain scores (P < 0.05). Pain interference was improved in sleep (P < 0.01), general activity, and mood (P < 0.05). More than half of the patients (65%) were satisfied with the treatment and whished no further medication changes; 52% had a treatment success defined as pain relief = 30%. Medication was stopped due to inefficacy in 9% of patients and changed due to adverse effects in 20% of the patients. Conclusions. A specialized outpatient clinic for patients with PDP is an effective health care service. Using diagnostic instruments and a defined treatment algorithm, significant pain reduction was achieved in the majority of patients in a relative short period of time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1324-1333
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Chronic Pain
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Patient Satisfaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective Pharmacological Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy by Nurse Practitioners: Results of an Algorithm-Based Experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this