Testing the Impact of a Collaborative, Goal-Setting, and Behavioral Telehealth Intervention on Diabetes Distress: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Elizabeth M. Vaughan, Jeffrey A. Cully, Nancy J. Petersen, Natalie E. Hundt, Mark E. Kunik, Darrell D. Zeno, Aanand D. Naik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Diabetes distress is underrecognized and associated with poor outcomes. This study tested whether a 12-month collaborative, goal-setting, and behavioral telehealth intervention reduced diabetes distress levels. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of the Healthy Outcomes through Patient Empowerment (HOPE) study that included individuals (N = 225) with uncontrolled diabetes and depression living at least 20 miles from a Veteran's Affairs medical center. Participants were randomized to HOPE (intervention) or Enhanced Usual Care (EUC) with education. We evaluated diabetes distress levels as measured by the Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID) Questionnaire and its four subscales (emotional, diabetes management, social, and treatment distress) at baseline, 6, and 12 months. Results: Between-group analysis revealed greater improvements in HOPE versus EUC for: 6-month PAID total score (p = 0.04), emotional (p = 0.03), and social (p = 0.04) subscales; 12-month PAID total score (p = 0.07) and emotional subscale (p = 0.07). Within-group comparisons showed larger effect sizes for HOPE compared with EUC: 12-month PAID total scores (0.82 vs. 0.54), 6-month emotional burden (0.54 vs. 0.31), and 6-month (0.32 vs. 0.08) and 12-month (0.41 vs. 0.12) social burdens. Repeated-measures analysis evaluating treatment group and time trended toward improvement in PAID overall for HOPE compared with EUC participants, but was not statistically significant (β = 6.96; SE = 4.35; p = 0.13). Discussion: Clinically meaningful reductions in PAID overall and the emotional and social subscales were observed in HOPE compared with EUC participants. Conclusion: Further evaluation of diabetes telehealth interventions that include other facets related to diabetes distress, including treatment, diabetes management, social, and emotional burdens, is warranted. Clinical Trial Number. NCT01572389; Clinical Trial Registry. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01572389.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral medicine
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • distress
  • goal-setting
  • survey research
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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