Testing the effectiveness of peer support additionally to a disease management programme (DMP) for type 2 diabetes patients.
Unblinded cluster-randomised controlled trial (RCT) involving 49 general practices, province of Salzburg, Austria. All patients enrolled in the DMP were eligible, n = 337 participated (intervention: 148 in 19 clusters; control: 189 in 20 clusters). The peer support intervention ran over 24 months and consisted of peer supporter recruitment and training, and group meetings weekly for physical exercise and monthly for discussion of diabetes related topics.
At two-year follow-up, adjusted analysis revealed a nonsignificant difference in HbA1c change of 0.14% (21.97 mmol/mol) in favour of the intervention (95% CI -0.08 to 0.36%, p = 0.22). Baseline values were 7.02 ± 1.25% in the intervention and 7.08 ± 1.25 in the control group. None of the secondary outcome measures showed significant differences except for improved quality of life (EQ-5D-VAS) in controls (4.3 points on a scale of 100; 95% CI 0.08 to 8.53, p = 0.046) compared to the intervention group.
Our peer support intervention as an additional DMP component showed no significant effect on HbA1c and secondary outcome measures. Further RTCs with a longer follow-up are needed to reveal whether peer support will have clinically relevant effects.
This trial has been registered with Current Controlled Trials Ltd. (ISRCTN10291077).