This was a randomized controlled study to test a scalable intervention model addressing the need for ongoing diabetes support. The study included individuals receiving care in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with HbA1c >8. The aim of this project was to determine whether augmenting diabetes self-management education (DSME) with support for an economically vulnerable population might better meet patient needs and reduce morbidity and premature mortality. The intervention utilized pre and post comparisons and was designed to test the efficacy of a telephonic diabetes support intervention to increase patient engagement in self-care and with the health care system as a means to improve clinical outcomes. There were significant improvements in HbA1c, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and depression screening scores in the year following DSME. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups. This randomized controlled study demonstrated that comprehensive face-to-face care with consistent assessment and documentation over time in FQHCs produce clinically significant and predictable improvement for people with diabetes. The addition of structured provision of telephonic support overlapping in time with the comprehensive face-to-face process of care in this environment did not produce statistically significant clinical or behavioral care improvement.
Keywords: Federally Qualified Health Center; diabetes education; diabetes support; patient engagement; self-management; telephonic support.