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IIR 17-221 – HSR&D Study

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IIR 17-221
Using Peer Navigators to increase access to VA and community resources for Veterans with diabetes-related distress
Mark E. Kunik MD MPH
Houston, TX
Funding Period: May 2019 - April 2023

Abstract

Diabetes-related distress, the negative emotional impact of living with diabetes (DM), is a powerful predictor of psychosocial functioning, treatment adherence, and glycemic control. Practice guidelines and consensus statements call for innovative approaches to address DM-related distress. Despite availability of self- management and psychosocial interventions to reduce DM related distress, these interventions are underutilized due to constraints in time, finances, motivation, and resource-awareness. Interventions that leverage traditional medical care and community-based health promotion programs (e.g., DM self- management education (DSME) programs) may enhance the ability of Veterans with DM to engage with a broad and accessible range of resources. Ensuring that Veterans with DM receive adequate self-care support requires interventions that (1) attend to both medical care and diabetes-related distress and (2) improve Veterans' access and engagement with DSME and traditional medical/mental care. Integrating VA and community health services and DSME resources is innovative and affords great opportunities to enhance Veteran outcomes and build VA community partnerships. Engagement of Veterans and community organizations in developing and delivering care responds to the 2016 HSR&D high-priority domain of Health Care Systems Change and aligns with the 2017 VA Under Secretary's priorities of Greater Choice (offering community and VA resources), Efficiency (community and VA coordination), and Timeliness (telephone delivery). This community-VA partnership and three-month Veteran peer coaching intervention (iNSPiRED) aims to enhance psychological well-being and diabetes self-management behavior in Veterans with DM by facilitating access to and use of healthcare and health promotion resources. The intervention focuses on reducing cognitive and practical barriers to use of services by engaging Veteran peers as coaches and navigators, and by encouraging engagement in health promotion and healthcare services in the VA and the greater community. A secondary goal, integral to the main goal, is to strengthen and integrate VHA partnerships with community- based organizations and Veteran Support Organizations (VSO's). This is a single-blind, parallel group randomized trial of a 3-month peer navigation intervention for Veterans with DM and elevated levels of DM-related distress. We will recruit Veterans with DM-related distress through existing help-seeking channels within and outside of the VA in partnership with community agencies, VSO's, and the Houston VAMC. Eligible Veterans will be assigned at random to the iNSPiRED intervention (peer navigation and coaching) versus usual care (written resource materials and encouragement to continue follow- up with healthcare providers). Consistent with the focus on the overall emotional impact of DM, the PRIMARY OUTCOME is DM-related distress (DM Distress Scale). In previous studies the DDS has shown strong relationships with psychological symptoms, self-management behaviors, and objective measures of glycemic control. SECONDARY OUTCOMES include anxiety symptoms (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale), depression symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-8), DM self-management behaviors (DM Self- Management Scale), and self-reported use and new use of VA or community resources. In addition to participant-level outcomes, we will also assess STAKEHOLDER OUTCOMES through a mixed methods process evaluation. Our objective will be to measure the impact of stakeholder engagement activities on development and sustainability of VA-community partnerships, trust and communication, and capacity building. Assessment of primary and secondary endpoints will occur at baseline, post-intervention, and at 6 months. If this project meets intended goals, we will partner with VHA Office of Community Engagement and VHA Specialty Care to implement the intervention for DM and other chronic diseases..

NIH Reporter Project Information: https://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=9720528

PUBLICATIONS:
None at this time.

DRA: Mental, Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders, Diabetes and Related Disorders
DRE: Treatment - Observational, TRL - Applied/Translational
Keywords: Care Coordination, Diabetes, Social Support
MeSH Terms: None at this time.