Community Health Worker Support for Disadvantaged Patients with Multiple Chronic Diseases: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Seq ID: 417
DocID: PA19
Authors: Kangovi S, Mitra N, Grande D, Huo H, Smith R, Long J
Year: 2017
State: PA
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Evidence Generation: Evidence-based interventions, Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams

Objectives. To determine whether a community health worker (CHW) intervention improved outcomes in a low income population with multiple chronic conditions. Methods. We conducted a single-blind, randomized clinical trial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2013–2014). Participants (n = 302) were high-poverty neighborhood residents, uninsured or publicly insured, and diagnosed with 2 or more chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, tobacco dependence, hypertension). All patients set a disease management goal. Patients randomly assigned to CHWs also received 6 months of support tailored to their goals and preferences. Results. Support from CHWs (vs goal-setting alone) led to improvements in several chronic diseases (changes in glycosylated hemoglobin: –0.4 vs 0.0; body mass index: –0.3
vs –0.1; cigarettes per day: –5.5 vs –1.3; systolic blood pressure: –1.8 vs –11.2; overall P = .08), self-rated mental health (12-item Short Form survey; 2.3 vs –0.2; P = .008), and quality of care (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems; 62.9% vs 38%; P < .001), while reducing hospitalization at 1 year by 28% (P = .11). There were no differences in patient activation or self-rated physical health. Conclusions. A standardized CHW intervention improved chronic disease control, mental health, quality of care, and hospitalizations and could be a useful population health management tool for health care systems.

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