CHICAGO - A diabetes self-management education program delivered by community
health workers may be effective in improving the blood sugar levels and
behavioral skills among Hispanics/Latinos with type 2 diabetes,
according to a recent University of Illinois at Chicago study.
The pilot study, published in the July/August issue of The Diabetes
Educator, suggests community health workers can be effective in
delivering culturally-appropriate diabetes self-management education,
said lead author Dr. Amparo Castillo, visiting training and research
coordinator in the UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work.
Other positive outcomes were an increase in diabetes knowledge,
physical activity, spacing carbohydrates, following a healthy eating
plan, and eating fruits and vegetables, Castillo said. Improved
behaviors also included foot care, glucose self-monitoring, and
medication adherence, according to the study.
Researchers from UIC's Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and
Policy Center developed the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program, a
series of education sessions to help people living with or at-risk for
diabetes to address their self-care needs.
Castillo and her team trained community health workers to present the
program. Hispanic participants with self-reported type 2 diabetes were
recruited at two Southeast Chicago community self-care centers, and 47
provided pretest and posttest data for the study.
The findings suggest the importance of community health workers in
diabetes self-management, Castillo said. She says a longer term
randomized trial is needed to confirm the results.
The study was conducted under the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to
Community Health or REACH 2010 initiative funded by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Aida Giachello, associate professor of
social work and director of the Midwest Latino Health Research,
Training and Policy Center, was the study's principal investigator.