The effect of virtual specialist conferences between endocrinologists and general practitioners about type 2 diabetes: study protocol for a pragmatic randomized superiority trial

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Abstract

Background: To support the primary care sector in delivering high-quality type 2 diabetes (T2D), literature reviews emphasize the need for implementing models of collaboration that in a simple and effective way facilitate clinical dialogue between general practitioners (GPs) and endocrinologists. The overall aim of the project is to evaluate if virtual specialist conferences between GPs and endocrinologists about patients living with T2D is clinically effective and improves diabetes competences and organization in general practice in comparison to usual practice. Methods: A prospective, pragmatic, and superiority RCT with two parallel arms of general practices in the Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark. All general practices are invited (n = 100). The intervention runs for 12 months and consists of four virtual conferences between endocrinologists and an individual general practice. Before the first conference, an introductory webinar teaches GPs about how to use an IT-platform to identify and manage T2D patients. The main analysis (month 12) concerns the difference between the intervention and control arm. It is expected that the virtual conferences at the patient level will improve adherence to international recommendations on diabetes medication for T2D patients and improve the risk profile with a reduction in glycated haemoglobin, blood pressure, and cholesterol. The study design allows for identifying a significant difference between the intervention (n = 15) and control group (n = 15) regarding the three primary clinical outcomes with a power of 0.8870–0.9941. At the general practice level, it is expected that general practitioners and practice staff in the intervention group will improve self-reported diabetes competence and organization. The control arm will get the intervention when the primary intervention ends (months 12–24), and the intervention arm transitions to a maintenance phase. Discussion: The potential of virtual conferences is yet to be fully tapped because of methodological limitations. Studies have also not yet systematically evaluated virtual conferences in the context of chronic care using a high-quality research design. Given the nature of this real-life intervention, general practitioners and endocrinologists cannot be blinded to their allocation to either the intervention or comparison arm. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, United States National Institutes of Health trial ID: NCT05268081. Registered on 4 March 2022.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1059
JournalTrials
Volume23
Issue1
ISSN1745-6215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • General Practitioners: General practice
  • Randomized trial
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Virtual conferences

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