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LDI Issue Brief. 2012 Mar;17(6):1-4.

''Buddy system'' of peer mentors may help control diabetes.

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Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, USA.


Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent and severe among African Americans. Even within the Veterans Health Administration, which is thought to have minimized barriers in access to care, racial disparities in glucose control and outcomes persist. This Issue Brief summarizes work testing two novel interventions--one-on-one peer mentoring (a "buddy system") and financial incentives--designed to help patients with consistently poor diabetes control achieve better results. In this case, a telephone buddy makes a big difference.

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