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Prev Med. 2003 Jul;37(1):23-32.

Randomized controlled trial of the effects of nurse case manager and community health worker interventions on risk factors for diabetes-related complications in urban African Americans.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA.



African Americans suffer disproportionately from diabetes complications, but little research has focused on how to improve diabetic control in this population. There are also few or no data on a combined primary care and community-based intervention approach.


We randomly assigned 186 urban African Americans with type 2 diabetes (76% female, mean A SD age 59 A 9 years) to 1 of 4 parallel arms: (1) usual care only; (2) usual care + nurse case manager (NCM); (3) usual care + community health worker (CHW); (4) usual care + nurse case manager/community health worker team. Using the framework of the Precede-Proceed behavioral model, interventions included patient counseling regarding self-care practices and physician reminders.


The 2-year follow-up visit was completed by 149 individuals (84%). Compared to the Usual care group, the NCM group and the CHW group had modest declines in HbA(1c) over 2 years (0.3 and 0.3%, respectively), and the combined NCM/CHW group had a greater decline in HbA(1c) (0.8%. P = 0.137). After adjustment for baseline differences and/or follow-up time, the combined NCM/CHW group showed improvements in triglycerides (-35.5 mg/dl; P = 0.041) and diastolic blood pressure, compared to the usual care group (-5.6 mmHg; P = 0.042).


Combined NCM/CHW interventions may improve diabetic control in urban African Americans with type 2 diabetes. Although results were clinically important, they did not reach statistical significance. This approach deserves further attention as a means to reduce the excess risk of diabetic complications in African Americans.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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