Generation of cascades of care for diabetes and hypertension care continuum in Cambodia: protocol for a population-based survey protocol

Vannarath Te, Edwin Wouters, Veerle Buffel, Wim Van Damme, Josefien van Olmen, Por Ir

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BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) were accountable for 24% of the total deaths in Cambodia, one of the low- and middle-income countries, where primary health care (PHC) settings generally do not perform well in the early detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of leading risk factors for CVDs, that is, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hypertension (HT). Integrated care for T2D and HT in the Cambodian PHC system remains limited, with more than two-thirds of the population never having had their blood glucose measured and more than half of the population with T2D having not received treatment, with only few of them achieving recommended treatment targets. With regard to care for T2D and HT in the public health care system, 3 care models are being scaled up, including (1) a hospital-based model, (2) a health center-based model, and (3) a community-based model. These 3 care models are implemented in isolation with relatively little interaction between each other. The question arises as to what extent the 3 care models have performed in providing care to patients with T2D or HT or both in Cambodia.

OBJECTIVE: This protocol aims to show how to use primary data from a population-based survey to generate data for the cascades of care to assess the continuum of care for T2D and HT across different care models.

METHODS: We adapt the HIV test-treat-retain cascade of care to assess the continuum of care for patients living with T2D and HT. The cascade-of-care approach outlines the sequential steps in long-term care: testing, diagnosis, linkage with care, retention in care, adherence to treatment, and reaching treatment targets. Five operational districts (ODs) in different provinces will be purposefully selected out of 103 ODs across the country. The population-based survey will follow a multistage stratified random cluster sampling, with expected recruitment of 5280 eligible individuals aged 40 and over as the total sample size. Data collection process will follow the STEPS (STEPwise approach to NCD risk factor surveillance) survey approach, with modification of the sequence of the steps to adapt the data collection to the study context. Data collection involves 3 main steps: (1) structured interviews with questionnaires, (2) anthropometric measurements, and (3) biochemical measurements.

RESULTS: As of December 2021, the recruitment process was completed, with 5072 eligible individuals participating in the data collection; however, data analysis is pending. Results are expected to be fully available in mid-2022.

CONCLUSIONS: The cascade of care will allow us to identify leakages in the system as well as the unmet need for care. Identifying gaps in the health system is vital to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its performance. This study protocol and its expected results will help implementers and policy makers to assess scale-up and adapt strategies for T2D and HT care in Cambodia.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number (ISRCTN) registry ISRCTN41932064;


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36747
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number9
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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