Few studies have evaluated the use of a community-engaged diabetes program in West Virginia. This study utilized a community-based participatory approach to examine ongoing effectiveness of a diabetes prevention and management program (DPM) in an Appalachian church.
Using trained Health Coaches, the DPM program is implemented in twenty-two sessions over 12 months. The DPM program was modeled after the Diabetes Prevention Program and modified to include diabetes management sessions. Program planning included meetings with academic partners and community stakeholders for appropriateness and review of program-related materials. Participants with diabetes or at high-risk completed a pre-program survey, fasting blood work and anthropometric measurements. The primary outcomes tracked at baseline, mid-program end of the program and 6-month follow-up, are changes in fasting glucose, weight and body mass index. Secondary outcomes include attendance rates and changes in blood lipids and blood pressure. Process evaluation of Health Coaches assessed mode, frequency, and length of time for the weekly follow-up communications between them and the participants.
Forty-one adult members completed the pre-screening survey and 24 adults participated in the DPM program. Mean age and body fat was 62 years and 44% respectively; 58% had diabetes and 50% had hypertension. Preliminary results showed 60% attendance for 12 sessions. Mean weight loss among participants who completed 12 sessions was 4.16 lbs
“This research was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 1 R15 NR016549-01A1. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”
Integrating participants with diabetes and pre-diabetes will directly benefit the health and well-being of individuals and families. Churches can work with academic partners into developing a culturally relevant diabetes program for WV communities.