A Home-Visiting Diabetes Prevention and Management Program for American Indian Youth: The Together on Diabetes Trial

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of a family-based, home-visiting diabetes prevention/management intervention for American Indian (AI) youth with or at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Methods

The Together on Diabetes program, developed through community-based participatory research, enrolled 255 AI youth (aged 10–19 years) with or at risk for type 2 diabetes and 223 support persons. Delivered by local AI paraprofessionals in 4 rural AI communities, the program included home-based lifestyle education and psychosocial support, facilitated referrals, and community-based healthy living activities. Changes in AI youth participants' knowledge, behavior, psychosocial status, and physiological measurements were assessed over 12 months.

Results

Over one-half (56.1%) of youth were boys. The median age was 13.2 years. At baseline, 68.0% of youth reported no physical activity in the past 3 days; median percentages of kilocalories from fat (36.18%) and sweets (13.67%) were higher than US Department of Agriculture recommendations. Nearly 40% of participants reported food insecurity in the past month; 17.1% screened positive for depression. Support persons were predominantly family members, few reported having home Internet access (38.6%), and the majority reported being long distances (>30 minutes) from food stores. Whereas support persons were primarily responsible (≥69%) for obtaining medical care for the youth, the youth had a greater role in behavioral outcomes, indicating joint diabetes prevention/management responsibility.

Conclusions:

Baseline results confirmed the need for family-based youth diabetes prevention interventions in rural AI communities and indicated that enrolling at-risk youth and family members is feasible and acceptable.

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