The Aging, Community and Health Research Unit—Community Partnership Program for older adults with type 2 diabetes and multiple chronic conditions: a feasibility study
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BACKGROUND: Few studies have examined the effectiveness of community-based self-management interventions in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and multiple chronic conditions (MCC). The objectives of this study were to examine the feasibility of implementation in practice (primary) and the feasibility of study methods and potential effectiveness (secondary) of the Aging, Community and Health-Community Partnership Program, a new 6-month interprofessional, nurse-led program to promote diabetes self-management in older adults (>65 years) with T2DM and MCC. METHODS: This study used a prospective one-group pre-test/post-test design. Participants were recruited from a specialized diabetes clinic. They received a median of three in-home/clinic visits by certified diabetes educators (CDEs) and attended a median of three group wellness sessions provided by the CDEs in partnership with a community-based seniors' association. The primary outcome was the feasibility of the program (acceptability, fidelity, implementation barriers/facilitators). Secondary outcomes included the feasibility of the study methods (recruitment/retention rates and procedures, eligibility criteria, data collection and analysis methods) and potential effectiveness of the program based on 6-month changes in self-reported outcomes including self-management behavior (diet, exercise, self-monitoring), health status (quality of life, mental health), and costs of service use. Analysis of feasibility outcomes was primarily based on descriptive statistics. The potential effectiveness of the program was explored using different tests, with the results expressed using descriptive statistics and effect estimates (95 % confidence intervals). RESULTS: In total, 45 (88 %) of 51 eligible persons consented to participate. Of these, 37 (82 %) completed the 6-month follow-up. Participants and providers viewed the program as acceptable and feasible. Participants had a higher SF-12 physical component summary score at 6 months compared with baseline (mean score difference 3.0, 95 % CI 0.2-5.8). Median costs for diabetes care increased over 6 months (reflecting inclusion of program costs), while other service costs either decreased or remained unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: This study offers preliminary evidence that the program was feasible to deliver and acceptable to participants and providers. Initial results suggest that the program may improve physical functioning. A randomized controlled trial is feasible, with some adaptations to the program and study methods that were identified from this feasibility study. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01880476.