The Happy Life Club™ study protocol: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a type 2 diabetes health coach intervention

Colette Browning, Anna Chapman, Sean Cowlishaw, Zhixin Li, Shane A Thomas, H Yang, Tuohong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The Happy Life Club™ is an intervention that utilises health coaches trained in behavioural change and motivational interviewing techniques to assist with the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in primary care settings in China. Health coaches will support participants to improve modifiable risk factors and adhere to effective self-management treatments associated with T2DM.

METHODS/DESIGN: A cluster randomised controlled trial involving 22 Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Fengtai District of Beijing, China. CHCs will be randomised into a control or intervention group, facilitating recruitment of at least 1320 individual participants with T2DM into the study. Participants in the intervention group will receive a combination of both telephone and face-to-face health coaching over 18 months, in addition to usual care received by the control group. Health coaching will be performed by CHC doctors and nurses certified in coach-assisted chronic disease management. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline and again at 6, 12 and 18 months by means of a clinical health check and self-administered questionnaire. The primary outcome measure is HbA1c level. Secondary outcomes include metabolic, physiological and psychological variables.

DISCUSSION: This cluster RCT has been developed to suit the Chinese health care system and will contribute to the evidence base for the management of patients with T2DM. With a strong focus on self-management and health coach support, the study has the potential to be adapted to other chronic diseases, as well as other regions of China.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN01010526.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • China
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Community Health Centers
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Directive Counseling
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Primary Health Care
  • Program Evaluation
  • Questionnaires
  • Research Design
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Social Support

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