CommunityRx: A real-world controlled clinical trial of a scalable, low-intensity community resource referral intervention

Am J Public Health

Objectives: To test the effect of CommunityRx, a scalable, low-intensity intervention that matches patients to community resources on mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL) (primary outcome), physical HRQOL, and confidence in finding resources.

Methods: A real-world trial assigned publicly insured residents of Chicago, Illinois, aged 45 to 74 years to an intervention (n = 209) or control (n = 202) group by alternating calendar week, December 2015 to August 2016. Intervention group participants received usual care and an electronic medical record-generated, personalized list of community resources. Surveys (baseline, 1-week, 1- and 3-months) measured HRQOL and confidence in finding community resources to manage health.

Results: At 3 months, there was no difference between groups in mental (-1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -3.02, 0.96) or physical HRQOL (0.59; 95% CI = -0.98, 2.16). Confidence in finding resources was higher in the intervention group (odds ratio = 2.08; 95% CI = 1.18, 3.63); the effect increased at each successive time point. Among intervention group participants, 65% recalled receiving the intervention; 48% shared community resource information with others.

Conclusions: CommunityRx did not increase HRQOL, but its positive effect on confidence in finding resources for self-care suggests that this low-intensity intervention may have a role in population health promotion.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02435511.

Lindau ST, Makelarski JA, Abramsohn EM, et al. CommunityRx: A real-world controlled clinical trial of a scalable, low-intensity community resource referral intervention. Am J Public Health. 2019:e1-e7. PMID: 30789775. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304905.

Publication Year: 
2019
Resource Type: 
Peer Reviewed Research
Study Design: 
Pre-post with Comparison Group
Social Determinant of Health: 
Not Specified
Population: 
Medicaid-insured
Medicare-insured
Outcomes: 
Process
Health & Health Behaviors
Screening Research: 
No