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Using a population health management approach to enroll participants in a diabetes prevention trial

Reach outcomes from the PREDICTS randomized clinical trial

Date Published: May 25, 2021


Population health management (PHM) strategies to address diabetes prevention have the potential to engage large numbers of at-risk individuals in a short duration. We examined a PHM approach to recruit participants to a diabetes prevention clinical trial in a metropolitan health system. We examined reach and representativeness and assessed differences from active and passive respondents to recruitment outreach, and participants enrolled through two clinical screening protocols. The PHM approach included an electronic health record (EHR) query, physician review of identified patients, letter invitation, and telephone follow-up. Data describe the reach and representativeness of potential participants at multiple stages during the recruitment process. Subgroup analyses examined proportional reach, participant differences based on passive versus active recruitment response, and clinical screening method used to determine diabetes risk status. The PHM approach identified 10,177 potential participants to receive a physician letter invitation, 60% were contacted by telephone, 2,796 (46%) completed telephone screening, 1,961 were eligible from telephone screen, and 599 were enrolled in 15 months. Accrual was unaffected by shifting clinical screening protocols despite the increase in participant burden. Relative to census data, study participants were more likely to be obese, female, older, and Caucasian. Relative to the patient population, enrolled participants were less likely to be Black and were older. Active respondents were more likely to have a higher income than passive responders. PHM strategies have the potential to reach a large number of participants in a relatively short period, though concerted efforts are needed to increase participant diversity.