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Healthy food delivery for type 2 diabetes management in rural clinics' patients: A comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial protocol.

Short E, Selig JP, Felix HC, Painter J, McElfish PA, Rowland B, Ammerman AS, Bounds K, Henske J, Hudson JS, Li J, Young SG, Long CR. Healthy food delivery for type 2 diabetes management in rural clinics' patients: A comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial protocol. Contemporary clinical trials. 2024 Mar 6; 140:107491.

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BACKGROUND: Rural populations experience a higher prevalence of both food insecurity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) than metropolitan populations and face many challenges in accessing resources essential to optimal T2DM self-management. This study aims to address these challenges by delivering a T2DM-appropriate food box and recipes directly to rural participants'' homes. METHODS: This is a comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial including 400 English- or Spanish-speaking rural adult participants with T2DM (HbA1c = 6.5%) experiencing food insecurity. Participants are randomly assigned to a 3-month Healthy Food Delivery Intervention (HFDI) plus one 60-min virtual consultation with a diabetes educator or consultation only. The HFDI includes a weekly food box delivery with recipes. Data are collected at pre-intervention, 3-months (post-intervention), 9-months, and 15-months. The primary outcome is change in HbA1c, with secondary measures including diet quality (Healthy Eating Index-2015, calculated from one 24-h dietary recall at each data collection time point), cardio-metabolic risk factors (i.e., blood pressure, lipids, body mass index, glucose), and patient-centered outcomes (e.g., T2DM self-efficacy, T2DM-related distress). Process evaluation data (e.g., successful food box deliveries, diabetes educator consultation attendance, intervention satisfaction) are collected during and post-intervention (3-months). A cost-effectiveness analysis based on traditional cost per quality-adjusted life year gain thresholds will be conducted to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness between HFDI plus consultation and consultation alone. CONCLUSION: Findings from this study will provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of an intervention that promotes participant adherence and improves access to healthy food. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04876053.

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