To confirm the effectiveness of community health workers’ involvement as counselors or case managers in a self-help diabetes management program in 2009 to 2014.Methods
Our open-label, randomized controlled trial determined the effectiveness of a self-help intervention among Korean Americans aged 35 to 80 years in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. We measured and analyzed physiological and psychobehavioral health outcomes of the community health worker-counseled (n = 54) and registered nurse (RN)-counseled (n = 51) intervention groups in comparison with the control group (n = 104).Results
The community health workers’ performance was comparable to that of the RNs for both psychobehavioral outcomes (e.g., self-efficacy, quality of life) and physiological outcomes. The community health worker-counseled group showed hemoglobin A1C reductions from baseline (-1.2%, −1.5%, −1.3%, and −1.6%, at months 3, 6, 9, and 12, respectively), all of which were greater than reductions in the RN-counseled (−0.7%, −0.9%, −0.9%, and −1.0%) or the control (−0.5%, −0.5%, −0.6%, and −0.7%) groups.Conclusions
Community health workers performed as well as or better than nurses as counselors or case managers in a self-help diabetes management program in a Korean American community.