Effectiveness of technology-assisted case management in low income adults with type 2 diabetes (TACM-DM): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2011 Oct 20;12:231. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-12-231.


Background: An estimated 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. Nationally, South Carolina ranks 10th in cases of diagnosed diabetes compared to other states. In adults, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) accounts for approximately 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Clinically, provider and health system factors account for < 10% of the variance in major diabetes outcomes including hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), lipid control, and resource use. Use of telemonitoring systems offer new opportunities to support patients with T2DM while waiting to be seen by their health care providers at actual office visits. A variety of interventions testing the efficacy of telemedicine interventions have been conducted, but the outcomes have yielded equivocal results, emphasizing the shortage of controlled, randomized trials in this area. This study provides a unique opportunity to address this gap in the literature by optimizing two strategies that have been shown to improve glycemic control, while simultaneously implementing clinical outcomes measures, using a sufficient sample size, and offering health care delivery to rural, underserved and low income communities with T2DM who are seen at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in coastal South Carolina.

Methods: We describe a four-year prospective, randomized clinical trial, which will test the effectiveness of technology-assisted case management in low income rural adults with T2DM. Two-hundred (200) male and female participants, 18 years of age or older and with an HbA1c ≥ 8%, will be randomized into one of two groups: (1) an intervention arm employing the innovative FORA system coupled with nurse case management or (2) a usual care group. Participants will be followed for 6-months to ascertain the effect of the interventions on glycemic control. Our primary hypothesis is that among indigent, rural adult patients with T2DM treated in FQHC's, participants randomized to the technology-assisted case management intervention will have significantly greater reduction in HbA1c at 6 months of follow-up compared to usual care.

Discussion: Results from this study will provide important insight into the effectiveness of technology-assisted case management intervention (TACM) for optimizing diabetes care in indigent, rural adult patients with T2DM treated in FQHC's.

Trial registration: National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Registry (http://ClinicalTrials.gov identifier# NCT01373489.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Case Management*
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01373489