Integrating CHWs as Part of the Team Leading Diabetes Group Visits: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of integrating Community Health Workers (CHWs) as part of the team leading diabetes group visits.

Methods

This was a randomized controlled study that integrated CHWs as part of the team leading diabetes group visits for low-income Hispanic adults (n = 50). Group visits met for 3 hours each month for a 6-month duration. Main measures included baseline and 6-month clinical outcomes (ie, A1C, lipids), concordance with 8 standard of care guidelines (ie, screens for cervical, breast, and colon cancer) from the US Preventive Task Force and American Diabetes Association, and participant acceptability.

Results

Compared to control participants, the intervention group resulted in significantly better clinical outcomes or guideline concordance for the following areas: target A1C levels, retinal eye exams, diabetes foot exams, mammograms, and urine microalbumin. Significantly more individuals in the control group gained weight, whereas a greater number of participants in the intervention group lost weight. Intervention participants found the group visits highly acceptable.

Conclusions

Integrating CHWs as part a comprehensive diabetes group visit program is a feasible and effective system-level intervention to improve glycemic control and achieve guideline concordance.

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