Peers Deliver Effective Diabetes Education in Argentina

Type 2 Diabetes Patients Educated by Other Patients Perform At Least As Well as Patients Trained by Professionals

People with type 2 diabetes (25-75 years) were randomly assigned to attend a 4-week structured diabetes education course delivered by professional educators (control) or previously trained peers (peer). Peers also received continuing psychological support, including examples on how to apply diabetes knowledge in daily life via weekly peer cellular phone calls and bimonthly face-to-face interviews in small groups (ten patients), using a structured questionnaire related to the patient’s clinical, metabolic and psychological progress.

Over the following year, peer-educated subjects had lower A(1C) and systolic blood pressure and showed higher adherence to physical activity and better control of hypoglycaemic episodes. The non-inferiority of the peer outcomes and the mentioned improvements in this group suggest that volunteer trained peer educators and ongoing support can be successful. This approach provides an effective alternative method of education, especially in areas with limited availability of professionals and economic resources.

Diabetes Metab Res Rev; Nov 2012 [Full Abstract]

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