A Brief, Regular, Proactive Telephone "Coaching" Intervention for Diabetes: Rationale, Description, and Preliminary Results

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Diabetes, Adherence, Telephone intervention

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Telephone-delivered interventions (TDIs) represent a potentially cost-effective method to increase medical adherence. TDIs for diabetes patients have typically been delivered by nurses or computerized telephone messaging. Psychology undergraduates, however, are less costly than nurses, have a strong background in behavioral science, and provide the personal relationship missing with computerized contact. This paper presents the rationale for and description of a brief, regular, proactive telephone intervention designed to be delivered by psychology undergraduates (i.e., paraprofessionals). “Coaches” administer a 15-min telephone intervention weekly for 3 months and biweekly for 3 additional months. Guided by a semistructured protocol that focuses on behavioral goals, coaches provides support, collaborative problem-solving, and apply basic cognitive-behavioral techniques. Results from a pilot study on type 1 diabetes patients are presented. This preliminary evidence suggests that the program is feasible, acceptable to a large majority of patients, and effective in reducing HbA1c levels.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, v. 18, issue 2, p. 113-118