Protocol for a feasibility randomised control trial for continuous glucose monitoring in patients with type 1 diabetes at first-level hospitals in rural Malawi

BMJ Open. 2022 Feb 23;12(2):e052134. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052134.


Introduction: The majority of people living with type 1 diabetes (PLWT1D) struggle to access high-quality care in low-income countries (LICs), and lack access to technologies, including continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), that are considered standard of care in high resource settings. To our knowledge, there are no studies in the literature describing the feasibility or effectiveness of CGM at rural first-level hospitals in LICs.

Methods and analysis: This is a 3-month, 2:1 open-randomised trial to assess the feasibility and clinical outcomes of introducing CGM to the entire population of 50 PLWT1D in two hospitals in rural Neno, Malawi. Participants in both arms will receive 2 days of training on diabetes management. One day of training will be the same for both arms, and one will be specific to the diabetes technology. Participants in the intervention arm will receive Dexcom G6 CGM devices with sensors and solar chargers, and patients in the control arm will receive Safe-Accu home glucose metres and logbooks. All patients will have their haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measured and take WHO Quality of Life assessments at study baseline and endline. We will conduct qualitative interviews with a selection of participants from both arms at the beginning and end of study and will interview providers at the end of the study. Our primary outcomes of interest are fidelity to protocols, appropriateness of technology, HbA1c and severe adverse events.

Ethics and dissemination: This study is approved by National Health Sciences Research Committee of Malawi (IRB Number IR800003905) and the Mass General Brigham (IRB number 2019P003554). Findings will be disseminated to PLWT1D through health education sessions. We will disseminate any relevant findings to clinicians and leadership within our study catchment area and networks. We will publish our findings in an open-access peer-reviewed journal.

Trial registration number: PACTR202102832069874.

Keywords: diabetes & endocrinology; epidemiology; general diabetes; public health.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Malawi
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Blood Glucose