Background: In a randomized controlled trial of 628 Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes receiving multidisciplinary care in the Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation (JADE) Progam, 372 were randomized to receive additional telephone-based peer support (Peer Empowerment And Remote communication Linked by information technology, PEARL) intervention. After 12 months, all-cause hospitalization was reduced by half in the PEARL group especially in those with high Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) scores.
Methods: We used stratified analyses, negative binomial regression, and structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the inter-relationships between emotions, self-management, cardiometabolic risk factors, and hospitalization.
Results: Hospitalized patients were older, more likely to have heart or kidney disease, and negative emotions than those without hospitalization. Patients with high DASS score who did not receive peer support had the highest hospitalization rates. After adjustment for confounders, peer support reduced the frequency of hospitalizations by 48% with a relative risk of 0.52 (95% CI 0·35-0·79;p = 0·0018). Using SEM, improvement of negative emotions reduced treatment nonadherence (Est = 0.240, p = 0.034) and hospitalizations (Est=-0.218, p = 0.001). The latter was also reduced by an interactive term of peer support and chronic kidney disease (Est = 0.833, p = < 0.001) and that of peer support and heart disease (Est = 0.455, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: In type 2 diabetes, improvement of negative emotions and peer support reduced hospitalizations, especially in those with comorbidities, in part mediated through improving treatment nonadherence. Integrating peer support is feasible and adds value to multidisciplinary care, augmented by information technology, especially in patients with comorbidities.
Trial registration: NCT00950716 Registered July 31, 2009.
Keywords: Adherence; Hospitalizations; Integrated care; Negative emotions; Peer support; Quality improvement; Structural equation modelling.