Per Kallestrup

Community- and mHealth-based integrated management of diabetes in primary healthcare in Rwanda (D²Rwanda): the protocol of a mixed-methods study including a cluster randomised controlled trial

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  • Charilaos Lygidakis, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Butare
  • ,
  • Jean Paul Uwizihiwe
  • Per Kallestrup
  • Michela Bia, Labor Market, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
  • ,
  • Jeanine Condo, Rwanda Biomedical Center, Kigali, Rwanda.
  • ,
  • Claus Vögele, Institute for Health and Behaviour - Research Unit INSIDE, Universite du Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

INTRODUCTION: In Rwanda, diabetes mellitus prevalence is estimated between 3.1% and 4.3%. To address non-communicable diseases and the shortage of health workforce, the Rwandan Ministry of Health has introduced the home-based care practitioners (HBCPs) programme: laypeople provide longitudinal care to chronic patients after receiving a six-month training. Leveraging technological mobile solutions may also help improve health and healthcare. The D²Rwanda study aims at: (a) determining the efficacy of an integrated programme for the management of diabetes in Rwanda, which will provide monthly patient assessments by HBCPs, and an educational and self-management mHealth patient tool, and; (b) exploring qualitatively the ways the interventions will have been enacted, their challenges and effects, and changes in the patients' health behaviours and HBCPs' work satisfaction.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a mixed-methods sequential explanatory study. First, there will be a one-year cluster randomised controlled trial including two interventions ((1) HBCPs' programme; (2) HBCPs' programme + mobile health application) and usual care (control). Currently, nine hospitals run the HBCPs' programme. Under each hospital, administrative areas implementing the HBCPs' programme will be randomised to receive intervention 1 or 2. Eligible patients from each area will receive the same intervention. Areas without the HBCPs' programme will be assigned to the control group. The primary outcome will be changes in glycated haemoglobin. Secondary outcomes include medication adherence, mortality, complications, health-related quality of life, diabetes-related distress and health literacy. Second, at the end of the trial, focus group discussions will be conducted with patients and HBCPs. Financial support was received from the Karen Elise Jensens Fond, and the Universities of Aarhus and Luxembourg.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval was obtained from the Rwanda National Ethics Committee and the Ethics Review Panel of the University of Luxembourg. Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere028427
JournalBMJ Open
Pages (from-to)e028427
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

    Research areas

  • information technology, primary care, public health, telemedicine

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