Pilot Test of a Culturally Appropriate Diabetes Prevention Intervention for At-Risk Latina Women

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to test the preliminary effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of a peer-led, culturally appropriate, Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)–based lifestyle intervention for Latina women at high-risk for type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

Methods

Participants (N = 61) were overweight/obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥25) Latina women with no diabetes, at elevated risk either due to midlife age (45-65 years; n = 37) or history of gestational diabetes mellitus (n = 24). The study used a 1-group pretest-posttest design and offered 12 weeks of peer-led education sessions in a community setting. The intervention targeted physical activity and dietary behaviors to facilitate weight reduction and included culturally appropriate content, age-specific health information, and stress/emotion management strategies. Clinical and self-report assessments were conducted at baseline, month 3, and month 6.

Results

Mean participant age was 47.8 years (SD = 10.8). Most (91.2%) were born in Mexico, and 43.3% had a ninth-grade education or less. At month 6, participants achieved a mean reduction of 4.1% body weight (7 lb [3.2 kg]). Statistically significant improvements were observed for dietary behaviors, stress, and depression symptoms. Attrition was low, 5% (3 women). Focus groups indicated that intervention content increased knowledge, was applicable, highly valued, culturally relevant, and would be recommended to others.

Conclusions

This culturally tailored DPP adaptation was feasible and acceptable for 2 groups of Latina women at high-risk for T2DM and showed preliminary effectiveness in reducing weight and modifying self-reported dietary behaviors, stress, and depression symptoms. Further research is needed to identify ways to enhance weight loss and diabetes prevention in this at-risk, underserved population.

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