HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Effect of a Peer Health Coaching Intervention on Clinical Outcomes Among US Veterans With Cardiovascular Risks: The Vet-COACH Randomized Clinical Trial.
Nelson KM, Taylor L, Williams JL, Rao M, Gray KE, Kramer CB, Epler E, Fennell T. Effect of a Peer Health Coaching Intervention on Clinical Outcomes Among US Veterans With Cardiovascular Risks: The Vet-COACH Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open. 2023 Jun 1; 6(6):e2317046.
Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the US, CVD risk factors remain suboptimally controlled.
To test the effectiveness of a home-visit, peer health coaching intervention to improve health outcomes for veterans with multiple CVD risks.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
This 2-group, unblinded randomized clinical trial, called Vet-COACH (Veteran Peer Coaches Optimizing and Advancing Cardiac Health), used a novel geographic-based method to recruit a racially diverse population of veterans with low income. These veterans were enrolled at the Seattle or American Lake Veterans Health Affairs primary care clinics in Washington state. Veterans with a diagnosis of hypertension with at least 1 blood pressure reading of 150/90 mm Hg or higher in the past year, and 1 other CVD risk factor (current smoker, overweight or obesity, and/or hyperlipidemia), who resided in Census tracts with the highest prevalence of hypertension were eligible to participate. Participants were randomized to the intervention group (n = 134) or control group (n = 130). An intention-to-treat analysis was performed from May 2017 to October 2021.
Participants in the intervention group received peer health coaching for 12 months with mandatory and optional educational materials, an automatic blood pressure monitor, a scale, a pill organizer, and healthy nutrition tools. Participants in the control group received usual care plus educational materials.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
The primary outcome was a change in systolic blood pressure (SBP) from baseline to 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included change in health-related quality of life (HRQOL; measured using the 12-item Short Form survey's Mental Component Summary and Physical Component Summary scores), Framingham Risk Score, and overall CVD risk and health care use (hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and outpatient visits).
The 264 participants who were randomized (mean [SD] age of 60.6 [9.7] years) were predominantly male (229 [87%]) and 73 (28%) were Black individuals and 103 (44%) reported low annual income ( < $40 000 per year). Seven peer health coaches were recruited. No difference was found in change in SBP between the intervention and control groups (-3.32 [95% CI, -6.88 to 0.23] mm Hg vs -0.40 [95% CI, -4.20 to 3.39] mm Hg; adjusted difference in differences, -2.05 [95% CI, -7.00 to 2.55] mm Hg; P = .40). Participants in the intervention vs control group reported greater improvements in mental HRQOL scores (2.19 [95% CI, 0.26-4.12] points vs -1.01 [95% CI, -2.91 to 0.88] points; adjusted difference in differences, 3.64 [95% CI, 0.66-6.63] points; P = .02). No difference was found in physical HRQOL scores, Framingham Risk Scores, and overall CVD risk or health care use.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
This trial found that, although the peer health coaching program did not significantly decrease SBP, participants who received the intervention reported better mental HRQOL compared with the control group. The results suggest that a peer-support model that is integrated into primary care can create opportunities for well-being improvements beyond blood pressure control.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02697422.