Telephone-based peer support for African Americans: A pilot study
Background & Purpose: African-Americans have one of the highest rates of diabetes and diabetes-related complications among ethnic populations and face significant health care disparities despite membership in managed care organizations. The purpose of this 3-month pilot study was to evaluate the impact of a racially concordant telephone-based peer support program and clinician-led diabetes educational classes on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of African American patients diagnosed with diabetes in a managed care setting. We hypothesized that these patients would be more motivated to perform the diabetes self-care necessary to improve glycemic control if they were giving and receiving support from fellow African American patients with diabetes and attended classes given by African American clinicians. Methods: Twenty-one African American patients with poor glycemic control completed HbA1c lab draws, received peer communication skills training, and attended monthly support meetings on diabetes self-management. At the initial group session, participants self-selected their telephone partners and were asked to contact their partner at least once a week by telephone. At the completion of the 12-week period, participants completed lab draws (HbA1c) and a patient satisfaction questionnaire. Sixty-two percent of subjects experienced a clinically meaningful reduction of HbA1c levels of greater than 1%. A significant reduction in average HbA1c levels following the intervention was found (mean reduction -1.5%, standard deviation 1.4%) (p<.0001). Findings from the study suggest that the combination of racially concordant telephone-based peer support and clinician-led education offers a promising cost-effective means of supporting and improving the health outcomes of African American patients with diabetes.
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Discuss why racially-concordant peer and clinician support positively effects health outcomes for African Americans with diabetes.
Keyword(s): African American, Diabetes
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My Doctorate is in Public Health with a concentration in culturally competent healthcare as reflected in my dissertation research(Evaluating Health Outcomes of Culturally and Linguistically Adapted Diabetes Education in Managed Care). My research interests are in evidence-based culturally competent healthcare as it relates to chronic disease management. I teach cultural competency to doctoral students and continue work with Kaiser to develop pilot studies that target chronic disease prevention and management programs for ethnic populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.