Continuity of care trajectories and emergency room use among patients with diabetes

Hui Ying Tsai, Yiing Jenq Chou, Christy Pu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: To analyze the pattern of continuity of care (COC) using trajectory analysis for a group of patients newly diagnosed with diabetes, and determine whether various trajectories lead to distinct patient outcomes.Methods: We used the Taiwan National Health Insurance claims database. Newly diagnosed patients with diabetes in 2005 totaling 4367 were included in this study. All patients were followed up to 2011. We identified groups of COC trajectories using trajectory analysis. We subsequently determined whether various COC trajectories were associated with the frequency of total and diabetes-related emergency room (ER) use using negative binomial models.Results: We discovered five distinct COC trajectories for our newly diagnosed diabetes sample based on trajectory analysis. The early-seeker group had the lowest IRR for total ER visits (IRR = 0.56, P < 0.001), followed by the high-maintainer group (IRR = 0.67, P < 0.001). Similar results were obtained for diabetes-specific ER use.Conclusions: We identified various COC trajectories for diabetes patients. Chronic disease patients may seek a suitable physician by compromising care continuity at the onset of disease progression and exhibit favorable outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-513
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • Continuity of care (COC)
  • Diabetes
  • Emergency room (ER) use
  • Group-based trajectory analysis


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