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Int Q Community Health Educ. 2010;31(4):387-99. doi: 10.2190/IQ.31.4.f.

The impact of community health workers on behavioral outcomes and glycemic control of diabetes patients on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX 78539-2999, USA.


This study attempts to determine the impact of Community Health Workers (promotoras de salud) on the self-management practices of people with diabetes on the U.S.-Mexico Border. The region has higher incidence rates of type 2 diabetes than the nation as a whole due to its Mexican-American population, an ethnic group genetically vulnerable to the disease. Unlike prior research that investigated the overall effectiveness of the CHWs, this study monitored a wide range of biologic (HbA1c, BMI) and behavioral (diabetes knowledge, self-efficacy, self-management activities scores) outcomes among the diabetes patients. The experimental research design tested whether or not the monthly visits by CHWs to the diabetic patients helped them in controlling their disease. The sample (N = 30) was recruited from Mexican-American diabetes patients aged 30 or above. The intervention group received monthly visits from CHWs, while the control group did not. The intervention group showed a significant improvement after 2 years of intervention in all outcomes, except Body Mass Index (BMI).

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