Couple Phone Intervention Ups Glycemic Control for High A1C

No difference for phone (individual, couple), education interventions at highest A1C levels

elderly woman on cell phone

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A collaborative couples telephonic intervention is associated with significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c (A1C) levels, according to a study published online July in Diabetes Care.

Paula M. Trief, Ph.D., from State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 280 couples, among whom one partner had type 2 diabetes and A1C level of ≥7.5 percent. Participants were randomized to couples calls (CC; 104 participants), individual calls (IC, 94 participants), and diabetes education (DE, 82 participants). All arms had two self-management education calls; CC and IC had 10 extra behavior change calls. Patients were assessed at four, eight, and 12 months.

Overall, the researchers identified significant reductions in A1C for all interventions, with no differences between arms (12 months: CC −0.47 percent; IC −0.52 percent; and DE −0.57 percent). In within-arm analyses stratified by baseline A1C tertiles, the lowest tertile for A1C (7.5 to 8.2 percent) had no change from baseline; the middle tertile (8.3 to 9.2 percent) had significantly lower A1C levels only with CC; and the highest tertile (9.3 percent or greater) had significant improvement for all interventions. CC correlated with significant improvement in body mass index, and CC and DE resulted in reduced waist circumference.

"In adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, a collaborative couples intervention resulted in significant, lasting improvement in A1C levels, obesity measures, and some psychosocial outcomes," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Roche, which provided some material support.

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