Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

Community-Based Peer Support Significantly Improves Metabolic Control of Type 2 Diabetes in Cameroon

Diabet Med. 2015 Feb 7. [Pubmed Abstract]

Community-based peer support significantly improves metabolic control in people with Type 2 diabetes in Yaoundé, Cameroon
Assah FK, Atanga EN, Enoru S, Sobngwi E, Mbanya JC

To examine the effectiveness of a community-based multilevel peer support intervention in addition to usual diabetes care on improving glycaemic levels, blood pressure and lipids in patients with Type 2 diabetes in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

A total of 96 subjects with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes (intervention group) and 96 age- and sex-matched controls were recruited and followed up over 6 months. The intervention subjects underwent a peer support intervention through peer-led group meetings, personal encounters and telephone calls. Both intervention subjects and controls continued their usual clinical care. HbA1c , blood pressure, blood lipids and self-care behaviours were measured at 0 and 6 months.

There was significant reduction in HbA1c in the intervention group [-33 mmol/mol (-3.0%)] compared with controls [-14 mmol/mol (-1.3%)]; P < 0.001. Peer support also led to significant reductions in fasting blood sugar (-0.83 g/l P < 0.001), cholesterol (-0.54 g/l P < 0.001), HDL (-0.09 g/l, P < 0.001), BMI (-2.71 kg/m² P < 0.001) and diastolic pressure (-6.77 mmHg, P < 0.001) over the 6-month period. Also, diabetes self-care behaviours in the intervention group improved significantly over the 6 months of peer support.

Community-based peer support, in addition to usual care, significantly improved metabolic control in patients with uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This could provide a model for optimizing diabetes care and control in other settings with limited healthcare and financial resources.


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