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Type 2 Diabetes: Self-Management Education Program Helps Latinos

Type 2 Diabetes: Self-Management Education Program Helps Latinos

Photo: Three Latinos resting on a bank 

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 study.

The pilot study suggests community health workers can be effective in delivering culturally-appropriate diabetes self-management education, said lead author Amparo Castillo, visiting training and research coordinator in the University of Illinois at Chicago (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 randomised trial is needed to confirm the results.; Source: University of Illinois at Chicago

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