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1.  Health Literacy and Health Outcomes in Diabetes: A Systematic Review 
Low health literacy is considered a potential barrier to improving health outcomes in people with diabetes and other chronic conditions, although the evidence has not been previously systematically reviewed.
To identify, appraise, and synthesize research evidence on the relationships between health literacy (functional, interactive, and critical) or numeracy and health outcomes (i.e., knowledge, behavioral and clinical) in people with diabetes.
English-language articles that addressed the relationship between health literacy or numeracy and at least one health outcome in people with diabetes were identified by two reviewers through searching six scientific databases, and hand-searching journals and reference lists.
Seven hundred twenty-three citations were identified and screened, 196 were considered, and 34 publications reporting data from 24 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Consistent and sufficient evidence showed a positive association between health literacy and diabetes knowledge (eight studies). There was a lack of consistent evidence on the relationship between health literacy or numeracy and clinical outcomes, e.g., A1C (13 studies), self-reported complications (two studies), and achievement of clinical goals (one study); behavioral outcomes, e.g., self-monitoring of blood glucose (one study), self-efficacy (five studies); or patient-provider interactions (i.e., patient-physician communication, information exchange, decision-making, and trust), and other outcomes. The majority of the studies were from US primary care setting (87.5 %), and there were no randomized or other trials to improve health literacy.
Low health literacy is consistently associated with poorer diabetes knowledge. However, there is little sufficient or consistent evidence suggesting that it is independently associated with processes or outcomes of diabetes-related care. Based on these findings, it may be premature to routinely screen for low health literacy as a means for improving diabetes-related health-related outcomes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2241-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3579965  PMID: 23065575
health literacy; numeracy; diabetes; health outcomes
2.  Mental health and the relationship between health promotion counseling and health outcomes in chronic conditions 
Canadian Family Physician  2014;60(2):e113-e120.
To explore the relationship between health promotion counseling (HPC) provided by FPs and health-related quality of life (HRQL) and the use of health care services among patients with chronic conditions, while assessing the effect of mental health on these relationships.
Telephone survey using random-digit dialing.
A total of 1615 participants with chronic conditions.
Main outcome measures
Health promotion counseling provided by FPs, which was assessed using 4 questions; HRQL using the Euro quality of life 5-dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire; and the use of health care services assessed with self-reported emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations.
Of the 1615 participants with chronic conditions, 55% were female and more than two-thirds were older than age 45 years. Less than two-thirds of participants received HPC from their FPs. In patients without anxiety or depression, those who needed help from their FPs in making changes to prevent illness had a 0.05 lower EQ-5D score than those who did not (P < .001); and those who received diet counseling had a 0.03 higher EQ-5D score than their counterparts did (P = .048). However, these associations were not observed in patients with anxiety or depression. Patients were more likely to have visited EDs if they needed their physicians’ help in making changes to prevent illness (odds ratio 1.43, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.89) and less likely to visit EDs if they had been encouraged by their physicians to talk about their health concerns (odds ratio 0.69, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.91). None of the HPC items was associated with hospitalizations.
Not all patients with chronic conditions are receiving HPC from their FPs. Also, there is an association between HPC and important health outcomes (ie, HRQL and ED visits), but this association is not apparent for those with anxiety or depression.
PMCID: PMC3922579  PMID: 24522689
3.  Applying the RE-AIM framework to the Alberta's Caring for Diabetes Project: a protocol for a comprehensive evaluation of primary care quality improvement interventions 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e002099.
Diabetes represents a major public health and health system burden. As part of the Alberta's Caring for Diabetes (ABCD) Project, two quality-improvement interventions are being piloted in four Primary Care Networks in Alberta. Gaps between health research, policy and practice have been documented and the need to evaluate the impact of public health interventions in real-world settings to inform decision-making and clinical practice is paramount. In this article, we describe the application of the RE-AIM framework to evaluate the interventions beyond effectiveness.
Methods and analysis
Two quality-improvement interventions were implemented, based on previously proven effective models of care and are directed at improving the physical and mental health of patients with type-2 diabetes. Our goal is to adapt and apply the RE-AIM framework, using a mixed-methods approach, to understand the impact of the interventions to inform policy and clinical decision-making. We present the proposed measures, data sources and data management and analysis strategies used to evaluate the interventions by RE-AIM dimension.
Ethics and dissemination
Ethics approval for the ABCD Project has been granted from the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB #PRO00012663) at the University of Alberta. The RE-AIM framework will be used to structure our dissemination activities by dimension.
It will be presented at relevant conferences and prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Various products, such as presentations, briefing reports and webinars, will be developed to inform key stakeholders of the findings. Presentation of findings by RE-AIM dimension will facilitate discussion regarding the public health impact of the two interventions within the primary care context of Alberta and lessons learned to be used in programme planning and care delivery for patients with type-2 diabetes. It will also promote the application of evaluation models to better assess the impact of community-based primary healthcare interventions through our dissemination activities.
PMCID: PMC3488740  PMID: 23103609
Primary Care
4.  Controlled trial of a collaborative primary care team model for patients with diabetes and depression: Rationale and design for a comprehensive evaluation 
When depression accompanies diabetes, it complicates treatment, portends worse outcomes and increases health care costs. A collaborative care case-management model, previously tested in an urban managed care organization in the US, achieved significant reduction of depressive symptoms, improved diabetes disease control and patient-reported outcomes, and saved money. While impressive, these findings need to be replicated and extended to other healthcare settings. Our objective is to comprehensively evaluate a collaborative care model for comorbid depression and type 2 diabetes within a Canadian primary care setting.
We initiated the TeamCare model in four Primary Care Networks in Northern Alberta. The intervention involves a nurse care manager guiding patient-centered care with family physicians and consultant physician specialists to monitor progress and develop tailored care plans. Patients eligible for the intervention will be identified using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 as a screen for depressive symptoms. Care managers will then guide patients through three phases: 1) improving depressive symptoms, 2) improving blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol, and 3) improving lifestyle behaviors. We will employ the RE-AIM framework for a comprehensive and mixed-methods approach to our evaluation. Effectiveness will be assessed using a controlled “on-off” trial design, whereby eligible patients would be alternately enrolled in the TeamCare intervention or usual care on a monthly basis. All patients will be assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Our primary analyses will be based on changes in two outcomes: depressive symptoms, and a multivariable, scaled marginal model for the combined outcome of global disease control (i.e., A1c, systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol). Our planned enrolment of 168 patients will provide greater than 80% power to observe clinically important improvements in all measured outcomes. Direct costing of all intervention components and measurement of all health care utilization using linked administrative databases will be used to determine the cost-effectiveness of the intervention relative to usual care.
Our comprehensive evaluation will generate evidence to reliability, effectiveness and sustainability of this collaborative care model for patients with chronic diseases and depression.
Trials registration Identifier: NCT01328639
PMCID: PMC3445824  PMID: 22897901
Primary care; Collaborative; Diabetes; Depression; Controlled trial; Health services research

Results 1-4 (4)