The DREAM Initiative: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial testing an integrated electronic health record and community health worker intervention to promote weight loss among South Asian patients at risk for diabetes

Sahnah Lim, Laura C. Wyatt, Shinu Mammen, Jennifer M. Zanowiak, Sadia Mohaimin, Keith S. Goldfeld, Donna Shelley, Heather T. Gold, Nadia S. Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Electronic health record (EHR)-based interventions that use registries and alerts can improve chronic disease care in primary care settings. Community health worker (CHW) interventions also have been shown to improve chronic disease outcomes, especially in minority communities. Despite their potential, these two approaches have not been tested together, including in small primary care practice (PCP) settings. This paper presents the protocol of Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities (DREAM) Initiative, a 5-year randomized controlled trial integrating both EHR and CHW approaches into a network of PCPs in New York City (NYC) in order to support weight loss efforts among South Asian patients at risk for diabetes. Methods/design: The DREAM Initiative was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (National Institutes of Health). A total of 480 individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes will be enrolled into the intervention group, and an equal number will be included in a matched control group. The EHR intervention components include the provision of technical assistance to participating PCPs regarding prediabetes-related registry reports, alerts, and order sets. The CHW intervention components entail group education sessions on diabetes prevention, including weight loss and nutrition. A mixed-methods approach will be used to evaluate the feasibility, adoption, and impact (≥ 5% weight loss) of the integrated study components. Additionally, a cost effectiveness analysis will be conducted using outcomes, implementation costs, and healthcare claims data to determine the incremental cost per person achieving 5% weight loss. Discussion: This study will be the first to test the efficacy of an integrated EHR-CHW intervention within an underserved, minority population and in a practical setting via a network of small PCPs in NYC. The study's implementation is enhanced through cross-sector partnerships, including the local health department, a healthcare payer, and EHR vendors. Through use of a software platform, the study will also systematically track and monitor CHW referrals to social service organizations. Study findings, including those resulting from cost-effectiveness analyses, will have important implications for translating similar strategies to other minority communities in sustainable ways. Trial registration: This study protocol has been approved and is made available on ClinicalTrials.gov by NCT 03188094 as of 15 June 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number635
JournalTrials
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2019

Keywords

  • CBPR
  • Community health workers
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Electronic health records
  • Health disparities
  • South Asian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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