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The combined diabetes and renal control trial (C-DIRECT) - a feasibility randomised controlled trial to evaluate outcomes in multi-morbid patients with diabetes and on dialysis using a mixed methods approach

Griva, K., Rajeswari, M., Nandakumar, M. , Khoo, E. Y. H, Lee, V. Y. W, Chua, C. G, Goh, Z. S, Choong, Y. T. D & Newman, S. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-6712-6079 (2019). The combined diabetes and renal control trial (C-DIRECT) - a feasibility randomised controlled trial to evaluate outcomes in multi-morbid patients with diabetes and on dialysis using a mixed methods approach. BMC Nephrology, 20(1), article number 2. doi: 10.1186/s12882-018-1183-z


Background: This cluster randomised controlled trial set out to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of the “Combined Diabetes and Renal Control Trial” (C-DIRECT) intervention, a nurse-led intervention based on motivational interviewing and self-management in patients with coexisting end stage renal diseases and diabetes mellitus (DM ESRD). Its efficacy to improve glycaemic control, as well as psychosocial and self-care outcomes were also evaluated as secondary outcomes.

Methods: An assessor-blinded, clustered randomised-controlled trial was conducted with 44 haemodialysis patients with DM ESRD and ≥ 8% glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), in dialysis centres across Singapore. Patients were randomised according to dialysis shifts. 20 patients were assigned to intervention and 24 were in usual care. The C-DIRECT intervention consisted of three weekly chair-side sessions delivered by diabetes specialist nurses. Data on recruitment, randomisation, and retention, and secondary outcomes such as clinical endpoints, emotional distress, adherence, and self-management skills measures were obtained at baseline and at 12 weeks follow-up. A qualitative evaluation using interviews was conducted at the end of the trial.

Results: Of the 44 recruited at baseline, 42 patients were evaluated at follow-up. One patient died, and one discontinued the study due to deteriorating health. Recruitment, retention, and acceptability rates of C-DIRECT were generally satisfactory HbA1c levels decreased in both groups, but C-DIRECT had more participants with HbA1c < 8% at follow up compared to usual care. Significant improvements in role limitations due to physical health were noted for C-DIRECT whereas levels remained stable in usual care. No statistically significant differences between groups were observed for other clinical markers and other patient-reported outcomes. There were no adverse effects.

Conclusions: The trial demonstrated satisfactory feasibility. A brief intervention delivered on bedside as part of routine dialysis care showed some benefits in glycaemic control and on QOL domain compared with usual care, although no effect was observed in other secondary outcomes. Further research is needed to design and assess interventions to promote diabetes self-management in socially vulnerable patients.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( ) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Publisher Keywords: Self-management; Diabetes; Kidney disease; End stage renal disease
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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