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Diabetes Educ. 2010 Jul-Aug;36(4):586-94. doi: 10.1177/0145721710371524. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Community-based Diabetes Education for Latinos: The Diabetes Empowerment Education Program.

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Jane Addams College of Social Work, Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60608, USA.



The purpose of this study was to conduct a diabetes education program delivered by community health workers (CHWs) in community settings and to evaluate its effectiveness in improving glycemic control and self-management skills in Hispanics/Latinos with type 2 diabetes.


Trained CHWs recruited Hispanic/Latino community residents with self-reported type 2 diabetes, implemented intervention in nonclinical locations, and collected data on diabetes knowledge, self-care behaviors, self-efficacy, depression, A1C, weight, and blood pressure. Classes applied participatory techniques and were delivered in 2-hour group sessions over 10 weeks. Two focus groups collected qualitative postintervention data.


Seventy participants enrolled, and 47 completed pretest and posttest data. Improvements were significant for A1C (P = .001) and systolic blood pressure (P = .006). Other positive outcomes were diabetes knowledge, physical activity, spacing carbohydrates, following a healthy eating plan, and eating fruits and vegetables. Improved behaviors also included foot care, glucose self-monitoring, and medication adherence. Depressive symptoms showed a positive trend in intent-to-treat analysis (P = .07), but self-efficacy did not change significantly (P = .142). Qualitative information reported an increase in participants' perceived competence in self-care and a positive influence of CHWs in participants' compliance with the program.


A diabetes self-management education program for Hispanics/Latinos led by CHWs can be implemented in community settings and may effectively improve behavioral skills and glycemic control.

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