A brief, regular, proactive telephone "coaching" intervention for diabetes: rationale, description, and preliminary results

J Diabetes Complications. Mar-Apr 2004;18(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/S1056-8727(02)00254-4.


Telephone-delivered interventions (TDIs) represent a potentially cost-effective method to increase medical adherence. TDIs for diabetes patients have typically been delivered by nurses or computerized telephone messaging. Psychology undergraduates, however, are less costly than nurses, have a strong background in behavioral science, and provide the personal relationship missing with computerized contact. This paper presents the rationale for and description of a brief, regular, proactive telephone intervention designed to be delivered by psychology undergraduates (i.e., paraprofessionals). "Coaches" administer a 15-min telephone intervention weekly for 3 months and biweekly for 3 additional months. Guided by a semistructured protocol that focuses on behavioral goals, coaches provides support, collaborative problem-solving, and apply basic cognitive-behavioral techniques. Results from a pilot study on type 1 diabetes patients are presented. This preliminary evidence suggests that the program is feasible, acceptable to a large majority of patients, and effective in reducing HbA1c levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Complications / rehabilitation*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Remote Consultation
  • Telephone*