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Diabetes Educ. 1999 Mar-Apr;25(2):226-36.

Culturally competent diabetes education for Mexican Americans: the Starr County Study.

Author information

  • 1School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin 78701, USA. sabrown@mail.utexas.edu



Few culturally competent health programs have been designed for Mexican Americans, a group that bears a disproportionate burden of Type 2 diabetes. In Starr County, a Texas-Mexico border community, investigators designed and tested a culturally competent intervention aimed at improving the health of this target population. The purpose of this article is to describe the development process of this diabetes education and support group intervention.


The development stages were (1) community assessment, (2) intervention design, (3) selection or development of outcomes, (4) pilot testing, and (5) a randomized clinical investigation.


Focus group participants identified knowledge deficits regarding diabetes and self-management strategies, and suggested characteristics of an effective intervention for Mexican Americans. Outcome measures included metabolic control indicators, a newly developed knowledge instrument, and an existing health belief instrument. Preliminary analyses indicated that the intervention was successful in significantly improving metabolic control in the target population.


Developing successful diabetes interventions for minority groups requires a number of stages, careful planning, assessment of cultural characteristics of the target population, and a systematic approach to implementation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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