Scientific Evidence


CHW-Assisted Diabetes Self-Management Support: An RCT

Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jun 20. [PubMed Abstract]

Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer-AID): Design, methods and baseline characteristics of a randomized controlled trial of community health worker assisted diabetes self-management support
Nelson K, Drain N, Robinson J, Kapp J, Hebert P, Taylor L, Silverman J, Kiefer M, Lessler D, Krieger J

Community health workers (CHWs) may be an important mechanism to provide diabetes self-management to disadvantaged populations. We describe the design and baseline results of a trial evaluating a home-based CHW intervention.

Methods & Research Design
Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer-AID) is a randomized, controlled trial evaluating a home-based CHW-delivered diabetes self-management intervention versus usual care. The study recruited participants from 3 health systems. Change in A1c measured at 12 months is the primary outcome. Change in blood pressure, lipids, health care utilization, health-related quality of life, self-efficacy and diabetes self-management behaviors at 12 months are secondary outcomes.

A total of 1,438 patients were identified by medical record review as potentially eligible, 445 patients were screened by telephone for eligibility and 287 were randomized. Groups were comparable at baseline on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. All participants were low-income and were from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The mean A1c was 8.9%, mean BMI was above the obese range, and non-adherence to diabetes medications was high. The cohort had high rates of co-morbid disease and low self-reported health status. Although one-third reported no health insurance, the mean number of visits to a physician in the past year was 5.7. Trial results are pending.

Peer-AID recruited and enrolled a diverse group of low income participants with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes and delivered a home-based diabetes self-management program. If effective, replication of the Peer-AID intervention in community based settings could contribute to improved control of diabetes in vulnerable populations.



“The Promotora Explained Everything”: Home Diabetes Coaching

Diabetes Educ. 2014 May 2. [PubMed Abstract]

“The Promotora Explained Everything”: Participant Experiences During a Household-Level Diabetes Education Program
Shepherd-Banigan M, Hohl SD, Vaughan C, Ibarra G, Carosso E, Thompson B

The purpose of this study is to describe participant experiences of a household-level, community health worker-led intervention to improve diabetes-related health behaviors and outcomes.

The Home Health Parties (HHP) aimed to improve diabetes self-management among Hispanics living in a rural, agricultural area in eastern Washington State. Trained promotores (community health workers) delivered a series of education sessions and distributed incentives to support diabetes-related behavior change. Open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires were administered to a random sample of 40 HHP participants. Qualitative methods were used to code and analyze the interview transcripts.

Four primary themes emerged from interviews: (1) participants’ desire for improving knowledge about diabetes; (2) experiences of building skills for diabetes management; (3) developing social support; and (4) embracing household-level change.

This study shows that involving family members and increasing social support are effective strategies for improving health behaviors and chronic health outcomes among vulnerable Hispanics living with diabetes. Our findings demonstrate several important considerations regarding the design of diabetes management interventions for rural Hispanic populations including the following: (1) promotores are critical as they provide social support and encourage behavior change by building relationships based on trust and cultural understanding; (2) well-designed tools that provide step-by-step examples of healthy behaviors, such as cookbooks, and tools that aid participants to monitor behavior change, such as pedometers and glucose monitors, serve to build skills and improve confidence to achieve goals; and (3) targeting households is a promising strategy for individual and family lifestyle changes that benefit the entire family unit.



Community Health Coaches Improve Hypertension Self-Management in Rural Appalachia

Health Promot Pract. 2014 May 16. [PubMed Abstract]

Improving Hypertension Self-Management With Community Health Coaches
Dye CJ, Williams JE, Evatt JH

Approximately two thirds of those older than 60 years have a hypertension diagnosis. The aim of our program, Health Coaches for Hypertension Control, is to improve hypertension self-management among rural residents older than 60 years through education and support offered by trained community volunteers called Health Coaches. Participants received baseline and follow-up health risk appraisals with blood work, educational materials, and items such as blood pressure monitors and pedometers.

Data were collected at baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks on 146 participants who demonstrated statistically significant increases in hypertension-related knowledge from baseline to 8 weeks that persisted at 16 weeks, as well as significant improvements in stage of readiness to change behaviors and in actual behaviors. Furthermore, clinically significant decreases in all outcome measures were observed, with statistically significant changes in systolic blood pressure (-5.781 mmHg; p = .001), weight (-2.475 lb; p < .001), and glucose (-5.096 mg/dl; p = .004) after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Although 40.4% of participants met the Healthy People 2020 definition of controlled hypertension at baseline, the proportion of participants meeting this definition at 16 weeks postintervention increased to 51.0%. This article describes a university-community-hospital system model that effectively promotes hypertension self-management in a rural Appalachian community.