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J Natl Med Assoc. 2007 Apr;99(4):440-6.

Implementing a diabetes prevention program in a rural African-American church.

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  • 1Mercer University School of Medicine, Medical Center of Central Georgia/Family Medicine, Macon, GA 31206, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Natl Med Assoc. 2007 Jun;99(6):605. Davis-Smith, Monique [corrected to Davis-Smith, Y Monique]; Boltri, John Mark [added]; Seale, J Paul [added]; Shellenberger, Sylvia [added]; Blalock, Travis [added]; Tobin, Brian [added].



The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of implementing a diabetes prevention program (DPP) in a rural African-American church.


A six-session DPP, modeled after the successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) DPP, was implemented in a rural African-American church. Adult members of the church identified as high risk for diabetes, based on results of a risk questionnaire, were screened with a fasting glucose. Persons with prediabetes, a fasting glucose of 100-125 mg/dL, participated in the six-session, Lifestyle Balance Church DPP. The primary outcomes were attendance rates and changes in fasting glucose, weight and body mass index measured at baseline, six- and 12-month follow-up.


Ninety-nine adult church members were screened for diabetes risk. Eleven had impaired fasting glucose. Ten of 11 participated in the six-session intervention, for an attendance rate of 78%. After the intervention and 12-month follow-up, there was a mean weight loss of 7.9 lbs and 10.6 lbs, respectively.


This pilot project suggests that a modified six-session DPP can be translated to a group format and successfully implemented in a church setting. Further randomized studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of such an intervention.

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