Lessons learned from two randomized controlled trials: CITIES and STOP-DKD.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats



Even well-designed, theoretically driven clinical trials can fall short of achieving the desired clinical outcomes. Our research team had an opportunity to conduct two randomized controlled trials that were enrolling patients in parallel. While both studies were targeting chronic disease management among patients with multiple comorbid conditions, the patient population and settings varied. The studies were the Cardiovascular Intervention Improvement Telemedicine Study (CITIES) and Simultaneous Risk Factor Control Using Telehealth to slow Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease (STOP-DKD) studies. Both studies had null findings.


Our goal is to discuss common design considerations across CITIES and STOP-DKD and potential implications for the design of future randomized controlled trials.


These were two 1:1 randomized controlled trials with attention control groups that recruited patients from various clinical practices in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.


We make three recommendations for future studies. First, we assert that it is important to allow for piloting the enrollment process to ensure that it is possible to identify and recruit a patient population that is well aligned with the clinical outcomes of the intervention. Second, analysis plans should be more targeted in their approach and should consider heterogeneity of treatment effects. Third, in order to support the transition of evidence generated from randomized controlled trials into clinical practice, it is important to consider even early stage randomized controlled trials through an implementation science lens.

Trial registration

Simultaneous Risk Factor Control Using Telehealth to slow Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease (STOP-DKD) NCT01829256; Cardiovascular Intervention Improvement Telemedicine Study NCT01142908.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Zullig, Leah L, Megan M Oakes, Felicia McCant and Hayden B Bosworth (2020). Lessons learned from two randomized controlled trials: CITIES and STOP-DKD. Contemporary clinical trials communications, 19. p. 100612. 10.1016/j.conctc.2020.100612 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29651.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Leah L Zullig

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Leah L. Zullig, PhD, MPH is a health services researcher and an implementation scientist. She is a Professor in the Duke Department of Population Health Sciences and an investigator with the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT) at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Dr. Zullig’s overarching research interests address three domains: improving cancer care delivery and quality; promoting cancer survivorship and chronic disease management; and improving medication adherence. Throughout these three area of foci Dr. Zullig uses an implementation science lens with the goal of providing equitable care for all by implementing evidence-based practices in a variety of health care environments. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications. 

Dr. Zullig completed her BS in Health Promotion, her MPH in Public Health Administration, and her PhD in Health Policy.

Areas of expertise: Implementation Science, Health Measurement, Health Policy, Health Behavior, Telehealth, and Health Services Research


Hayden Barry Bosworth

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Bosworth is a health services researcher and Deputy Director of the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT)  at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also Vice Chair of Education and Professor of Population Health Sciences. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides knowledge for improving patients’ treatment adherence and self-management in chronic care; 2) translation research to improve access to quality of care; and 3) eliminate health care disparities. 

Dr. Bosworth is the recipient of an American Heart Association established investigator award, the 2013 VA Undersecretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (The annual award is the highest honor for VA health services researchers), and a VA Senior Career Scientist Award. In terms of self-management, Dr. Bosworth has expertise developing interventions to improve health behaviors related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, and depression, and has been developing and implementing tailored patient interventions to reduce the burden of other chronic diseases. These trials focus on motivating individuals to initiate health behaviors and sustaining them long term and use members of the healthcare team, particularly pharmacists and nurses. He has been the Principal Investigator of over 30 trials resulting in over 400 peer reviewed publications and four books. This work has been or is being implemented in multiple arenas including Medicaid of North Carolina, private payers, The United Kingdom National Health System Direct, Kaiser Health care system, and the Veterans Affairs.

Areas of Expertise: Health Behavior, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, Health Measurement, and Health Policy

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.