Objective: Diabetes affects over 30 million people in the United States, resulting in a high burden on the health care system. The need for comprehensive therapies that address factors involved in the formation and progression of type 2 diabetes is well documented. This qualitative analysis aims to understand patient attitudes, beliefs, and experience within a large randomized clinical trial which implements two complementary, nutrition-based therapies: medically tailored meals (MTM) and medical nutrition therapy (MNT).
Methods: Using a purposive participant sampling method, we created a subsample of the population that could best express the attributes of the intervention which were most helpful and identify any significant obstacles encountered. We approached eligible participants at the conclusion of their enrollment in the clinical trial and conducted 45–60-minute qualitative interviews. Transcribed interviews were coded by two independent reviewers to identify common themes. Preliminary themes were then summarized and contextualized as part of the broader current clinical practice.
Results: Data were analyzed from the first 9 interviews. MTMs were identified by patients to serve an educational purpose in addition to immediate nutrition support. Additionally, patients viewed MNT as a reliable source of information to help answer questions and learn basic nutrition concepts. The major obstacle identified by participants involved issues with meal selection and taste.
Conclusion: These insights may change with analysis of the complete data, but they reinforce known weakness in clinical management of type 2 diabetes and offer encouragement for the wider deployment of these types of services as part of routine care.
Davis, Christopher, "Rethinking Diabetes Care: Initial Look at a Qualitative Assessment on Patient Experience in Project MiNT" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 492.