Background: Intensive lifestyle change programs effectively prevent or delay type 2 diabetes but are underutilized. We evaluated patient and clinician prediabetes attitudes and practices and implemented strategies to increase National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) referrals.

Methods: The Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases framework guided data collection and the interventional approach of our cluster randomized implementation study across two large primary care clinics. Formative data came from clinician surveys, patient focus groups, and electronic health record (EHR) review. Thematic qualitative and descriptive quantitative analyses identified implementation opportunities. Intervention clusters (family medicine teams) received clinician detailing and EHR-guided prediabetes patient identification. All clusters (family medicine and internal medicine) had access to an electronic DPP referral process. The primary outcome was DPP referral.

Results: Focus group participants (3 groups, 15 participants) had mixed perceptions of prediabetes risk and desired personalized behavior change guidance. Surveyed clinicians (31 respondents of 45 invited) viewed prediabetes care positively, but had low DPP awareness. Baseline pre-implementation EHR data for two years (15,520 adult patients) revealed A1c screening coverage of 75.9% per national guidelines. Documentation of prediabetes occurred in 50.7% (729/1,437) of patients meeting A1c criteria. Interim analysis of DPP referrals 8 months post-intervention found 4.8% (69/1,423) of diagnosed prediabetes patients received DPP referral in intervention clusters versus 0.7% (17/2,357) of diagnosed prediabetes patients in control clusters. Patients with prediabetes in intervention clusters had 3.32 (95% CI: 0.89, 12.35) odds of receiving DPP referral after covariate and clustered data adjustments.

Conclusions: Clinician detailing and EHR patient identification increased DPP referrals.


J.W. Keck: None. K.L. Roper: None. A. Thomas: None. L. Hieronymus: None.


National Center for Research Resources; National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR001998)

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