People with diabetes and ambulance staff perceptions of a booklet-based intervention for diabetic hypoglycaemia, “Hypos can strike twice”: A mixed methods process evaluation

Despina Laparidou, Vanessa Botan, Graham R. Law, Elise Rowan, Murray D. Smith, Amanda Brewster, Robert Spaight, Pauline Mountain, Sally Dunmore, June James, Leon Roberts, Kamlesh Khunti, A. Niroshan Siriwardena*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
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Abstract

Background: Hypoglycaemia is a potentially serious condition, characterised by lower-than-normal blood glucose levels, common in people with diabetes (PWD). It can be prevented and self-managed if expert support, such as education on lifestyle and treatment, is provided. Our aim was to conduct a process evaluation to investigate how ambulance staff and PWD perceived the “Hypos can strike twice” booklet-based ambulance clinician intervention, including acceptability, understandability, usefulness, positive or negative effects, and facilitators or barriers to implementation. Methods: We used an explanatory sequential design with a self-administered questionnaire study followed by interviews of people with diabetes and ambulance staff. We followed the Medical Research Council framework for process evaluations of complex interventions to guide data collection and analysis. Following descriptive analysis (PWD and staff surveys), exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify staff questionnaire subscales and multiple regression models were fitted to identify demographic predictors of overall and subscale scores. Results: 113 ambulance staff members and 46 PWD completed the survey. We conducted interviews with four ambulance staff members and five PWD who had been attended by an ambulance for a hypoglycaemic event. Based on surveys and interviews, there were positive attitudes to the intervention from both ambulance staff and PWD. Although the intervention was not always implemented, most staff members and PWD found the booklet informative, easy to read and to use or explain. PWD who completed the survey reported that receiving the booklet reminded and/or encouraged them to test their blood glucose more often, adjust their diet, and have a discussion/check up with their diabetes consultant. Interviewed PWD felt that the booklet intervention would be more valuable to less experienced patients or those who cannot manage their diabetes well. Overall, participants felt that the intervention could be beneficial, but were uncertain about whether it might help prevent a second hypoglycaemic event and/or reduce the number of repeat ambulance attendances. Conclusions: The ‘Hypos may strike twice’ intervention, which had demonstrable reductions in repeat attendances, was found to be feasible, acceptable to PWD and staff, prompting reported behaviour change and help-seeking from primary care. Trial registration: Registered with ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04243200 on 27 January 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages19
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date08 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ambulance staff
  • Booklet-based intervention
  • Diabetes
  • Experiences
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Perceptions
  • Process evaluation

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