Results Summary

What was the research about?

Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes usually receive information about how to manage their illness over time. Additional support may help patients feel more confident about managing diabetes and other health problems that may arise.

In this study, the research team tested a three-month program that included

  • Nurse coaches. Coaches worked one-on-one with patients to set goals for managing their diabetes. They then helped patients create and follow a plan to meet these goals. Patients and their coaches talked about patients’ progress on the phone every two weeks for three months.
  • Fitness-tracking devices. Patients received a fitness-tracking device to record daily activity, heart rate, and hours of sleep. They could view these data using a smartphone app or their computer. Patients’ primary care providers could also see this information in the patients’ electronic health records.

The team compared patients in the program with patients receiving only usual care from their primary care providers.

What were the results?

After the three-month program, compared with patients who received only usual care, patients in the program had greater

  • Increases in confidence to manage diabetes
  • Decreases in depression

But six months after the program ended, patients in the program and those receiving usual care no longer differed in improvement in confidence or depression.

Patients in the program and those receiving usual care didn’t differ in levels of stress, physical function, or anxiety at any time during the study.

Who was in the study?

The study included 319 patients with diabetes from three clinics in Davis, California. Of these patients, 63 percent were white, 13 percent were African American, 9 percent were Asian, 10 percent were another race, and 6 percent were more than one race. Also, 15 percent were Hispanic or Latino. The average age was 59, and 53 percent were men.

What did the research team do?

The research team assigned patients, by chance, to take part in the program or to receive only usual care. Patients filled out surveys at the start of the study and again three and nine months later. The survey asked about patients’ confidence in managing diabetes, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Patients with diabetes, primary care providers, specialists, dietitians, and computer scientists helped design the program. They also helped recruit patients and interpret results.

What were the limits of the study?

Patients were in the program for three months. Results may be different if patients were in the program for a longer time.

Future research can study how to sustain the results from the program for a longer time.

How can people use the results?

Clinics can use the results when considering programs to help patients manage diabetes.

Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.

Peer-Review Summary

Peer review of PCORI-funded research helps make sure the report presents complete, balanced, and useful information about the research. It also assesses how the project addressed PCORI’s Methodology Standards. During peer review, experts read a draft report of the research and provide comments about the report. These experts may include a scientist focused on the research topic, a specialist in research methods, a patient or caregiver, and a healthcare professional. These reviewers cannot have conflicts of interest with the study.

The peer reviewers point out where the draft report may need revision. For example, they may suggest ways to improve descriptions of the conduct of the study or to clarify the connection between results and conclusions. Sometimes, awardees revise their draft reports twice or more to address all of the reviewers’ comments. 

Peer reviewers commented and the researchers made changes or provided responses. Those comments and responses included the following:

  • The reviewers expressed concern that the report did not present enough information about the study methods, particularly the interventions, to satisfy standard reporting guidelines and PCORI Methodology Standards. The researchers added text to better explain their methods and revised the structure of the report to consolidate their description of the compared interventions, as well as to help the narrative flow more logically.
  • The reviewers expressed concern about the inconsistency between the primary and secondary outcomes described in the report, which had one primary outcome and the rest secondary, and the outcomes described in the clinical trial registry, which included eight primary outcomes. They also stressed the necessity to report all of the results for preplanned outcomes and analyses, even for outcomes that showed no effect. The researchers revised the final report to include all of the preplanned outcomes. They also updated the primary outcomes listed in the clinical trial registry so that the final report and the registry information were consistent in describing 3 primary outcomes, with 12 more secondary outcomes.
  • The reviewers asked the researchers to expand the background of the report to present the evidence of a need for a behavioral intervention, such as the one tested in the study. The researchers added text and references, noting that they had conducted a systematic review before conducting their study. They cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in noting that healthy eating and physical activity are core clinical recommendations for managing type 2 diabetes.
  • The reviewers suggested that a technology recall affecting a large number of participants and the addition of a third clinic to the trial because of slow recruitment should be considered setbacks and therefore, weaknesses of the study. The researchers disagreed that these two issues represented setbacks. The issues had been anticipated when designing the study, so the researchers had adopted a platform that would allow for evolving technology. Also, the researchers noted that the third clinic that was added was part of the same primary care network, and shared common systems and oversight. The researchers also disagreed that the study had a relatively high drop-out rate, saying that the attrition rate was below the average in clinical trials.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Project Information

Heather Margaret Young, MS, PhD, RN
The Regents of the University of California, Davis
Patient and Provider Engagement and Empowerment Through Technology (P2E2T2) Program to Improve Health in Diabetes

Key Dates

July 2014
December 2019

Study Registration Information


Has Results
Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: January 25, 2023