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Patient and supporter factors affecting engagement with diabetes telehealth.

Zupa MF, Piette JD, Stoll SC, Obrosky DS, Boudreaux-Kelly M, Youk AO, Overholt L, Trivedi R, Heisler M, Rosland AM. Patient and supporter factors affecting engagement with diabetes telehealth. The American journal of managed care. 2021 Oct 1; 27(10):409-414.

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OBJECTIVES: To assess what patient, family supporter, and call characteristics predicted whether patients completed automated and coach-provided calls in a telehealth diabetes intervention. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 123 adults with type 2 diabetes and high glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) or blood pressure, enrolled with a family supporter, received automated interactive voice response (IVR) and coach-provided visit preparation calls over 12 months. METHODS: Data from baseline surveys and diabetes-related clinical information from patient medical records were entered into multilevel, multivariate regression models of associations between participant and call characteristics with call completion. RESULTS: A total of 76.3% of 2784 IVR calls and 75.8% of 367 visit preparation calls were completed. For IVR calls, patients with recent call-triggered provider alerts had higher odds of call completion (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.5; 95% CI, 2.2-5.5); those with depressive symptoms (AOR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9), higher HbA1c (AOR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6-0.99), and more months in the study (AOR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.87-0.94 per month) had lower odds. For visit preparation calls, higher patient activation scores predicted higher call completion (AOR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.9); patient college education predicted less call completion (AOR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.2-0.6). Supporter help taking medications predicted less completion of both call types. Patient age did not predict call completion. CONCLUSIONS: Patients of all ages completed telehealth calls at a high rate. Automated IVR calls were completed more often when urgent issues were identified to patients'' providers, but less often if patients had high HbA1c or depression. Visit preparation call content should be tailored to patient education level. Family help with medications may identify patients needing additional support to engage with telehealth.

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