Baystate Medical Center To Conduct New Diabetes Counseling Study

SPRINGFIELD — The Behavioral Medicine Research Department at Baystate Medical Center (BMC) has developed a new computerized tool to motivate and educate patients with type 2 diabetes who are interested in improving their diabetes self-management.


“Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a new approach to behavior change counseling in diabetes that is both practical and theory-based,” said Garry Welch Ph.D., director of Behavioral Medicine Research at BMC. “MI is a directive, patient-centered counseling approach that is increasingly being applied to chronic illnesses like diabetes.”

MI-trained counselors seek to harness the patient’s own internal motivation to make behavior changes, Welch explained. “The key to success is to come up with a treatment plan that the patient understands and also agrees to follow because it fits into the patient’s lifestyle and beliefs.

“Baystate has developed both a Web-based assessment tool and a 30-minute MI counseling protocol to help our diabetes educators deliver more effective education interventions to their poorly controlled patients with type 2 diabetes,” Welch continued. “We are now beginning a four-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health using the assessment and protocol, with a broad based sample of 300 people with type 2 diabetes.

In a randomized, controlled study, the BMC researchers have created three active conditions for study participants; (1) uses both the computerized MI assessment tool and MI interview protocol together; (2) uses the use of the computerized assessment tool alone; (3) uses the MI interview protocol alone. “With this design we will discover which components or combination is the most effective in improving patient blood glucose control,” said Welch.

Patients with type 2 diabetes and elevated blood glucose are being sought to participate in the new motivational interviewing study. Qualifying participants will receive seven study counseling sessions, free of charge, and their blood glucose control will be tracked carefully over this time.

• Participants should be between the ages of 30 and 70, and have Type 2 Diabetes.
• Be willing to attend the scheduled visits that are part of the study.

For more information or for additional criteria regarding eligibility, please call the Study Coordinator, Aruna Setty, M.P.H., at 794-3061.

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