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Ann Fam Med. 2015 Aug;13 Suppl 1:S42-9. doi: 10.1370/afm.1853.

Effects of Providing Peer Support on Diabetes Management in People With Type 2 Diabetes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
  • 2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.
  • 3Ruttonjee Hospital, Hong Kong.
  • 4Asia Diabetes Foundation, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
  • 5Alice Ho Mui Ling Nethersole Hospital, Tai Po, Hong Kong.
  • 6North District Hospital, Fanling, Hong Kong.
  • 7Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Asia Diabetes Foundation, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.
  • 8Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong Asia Diabetes Foundation, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Division of Endocrinology, University of British Columbia, Canada.
  • 9Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Asia Diabetes Foundation, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong jchan@cuhk.edu.hk.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examined the effects of participating in a "train-the-trainer" program and being a peer supporter on metabolic and cognitive/psychological/behavioral parameters in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS:

In response to our invitation, 79 patients with fair glycemic control (HbA1c <8%) agreed to participate in a "train-the-trainer" program to become peer supporters. Of the 59 who completed the program successfully, 33 agreed to be peer supporters ("agreed trainees") and were each assigned to support 10 patients for 1 year, with a voluntary extension period of 3 additional years, while 26 trainees declined to be supporters ("refused trainees"). A group of 60 patients with fair glycemic control who did not attend the training program and were under usual care were selected as a comparison group. The primary outcome was the change in average HbA1c levels for the 3 groups from baseline to 6 months.

RESULTS:

At 6 months, HbA1c was unchanged in the trainees (at baseline, 7.1 ± 0.3%; at 6 months, 7.1 ± 1.1%) but increased in the comparison group (at baseline, 7.1 ± 0.5%; at 6 months, 7.3 ± 1.1%. P = .02 for between-group comparison). Self-reported self-care activities including diet adherence and foot care improved in the trainees but not the comparison group. After 4 years, HbA1c remained stable among the agreed trainees (at baseline, 7.0 ± 0.2%; at 4 years: 7.2 ± 0.6%), compared with increases in the refused trainees (at baseline, 7.1 ± 0.4%; at 4 years, 7.8 ± 0.8%) and comparison group (at baseline, 7.1 ± 0.5%; at 4 years, 8.1 ± 0.6%. P = .001 for between-group comparison).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with diabetes who engaged in providing ongoing peer support to other patients with diabetes improved their self-care while maintaining glycemic control over 4 years.

KEYWORDS:

diabetes self-care; peer support; social support; type 2 diabetes mellitus

PMID:
26304971
PMCID:
PMC4648131
DOI:
10.1370/afm.1853
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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