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Many community-based self-management programs have been developed for older adults with type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), bolstered by evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that T2DM can be prevented and managed through lifestyle modifications. However, the evidence for their effectiveness is contradictory and weakened by reliance on single-group designs and/or small samples. Additionally, older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) are often excluded because of recruiting and retention challenges. This paper presents a protocol for a two-armed, multisite, pragmatic, mixed-methods RCT examining the effectiveness and implementation of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit-Community Partnership Program (ACHRU-CPP), a new 6-month interprofessional, nurse-led program to promote self-management in older adults (aged 65 years or older) with T2DM and MCC and support their caregivers (including family and friends).
The study will enroll 160 participants in two Canadian provinces, Ontario and Alberta. Participants will be randomly assigned to the control (usual care) or program study arm. The program will be delivered by registered nurses (RNs) and registered dietitians (RDs) from participating diabetes education centers (Ontario) or primary care networks (Alberta) and program coordinators from partnering community-based organizations. The 6-month program includes three in-home visits, monthly group sessions, monthly team meetings for providers, and nurse-led care coordination. The primary outcome is the change in physical functioning as measured by the Physical Component Summary (PCS-12) score from the short form-12v2 health survey (SF-12). Secondary client outcomes include changes in mental functioning, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and self-efficacy. Caregiver outcomes include health-related quality of life and depressive symptoms. The study includes a comparison of health care service costs for the intervention and control groups, and a subgroup analysis to determine which clients benefit the most from the program. Descriptive and qualitative data will be collected to examine implementation of the program and effects on interprofessional/team collaboration.
This study will provide evidence of the effectiveness of a community-based self-management program for a complex target population. By studying both implementation and effectiveness, we hope to improve the uptake of the program within the existing community-based structures, and reduce the research-to-practice gap.
ClinicalTrials.gov, Identifier: NCT02158741. Registered on 3 June 2014.