Purpose: Hispanics diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) have poorer health outcomes than non-Hispanic whites. Approximately one- half of all Hispanic DM patients utilize community health clinics for their DM needs. Evidence suggests that using a culturally-tailored approach to DM education can uniquely improve health outcomes in this population. The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was to improve glycemic control in a medically underserved Hispanic community through a culturally-tailored DM education program.
Methods: This quasi-experimental pre/post design project was guided by the ACE Star Model and Leininger’s Theory of Cultural Care. The affiliated University’s IRB approved this project. The Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) was implemented in a free, community clinic in a medically underserved area. Spanish speaking patients (n = 15) with A1C levels
> 8mg/dl were recruited to participate in a 6-week group educational program facilitated by community health workers. Outcomes included A1C levels, weight, and two surveys from the Michigan Diabetes Research Center - DM knowledge test and the DM empowerment scale.
Results: Paired sample t-tests were used to analyze the outcomes. The participants had an average pre-A1C of 8.82 mg/dl with post-A1C of 8.01 mg/dl (p = .028). Pre-knowledge test scores averaged 9.40 with post-test average of 12.07 (p < .001). Empowerment scores increased from 4.09 to 4.63 (p = .001). The reduction between the average pre-and post-weight measures were not statistically significant (p = .681).
Discussion: The implementation of a culturally-tailored DM educational program in a medically underserved community had a significant impact on reducing A1C levels, improving DM knowledge, and enhancing empowerment levels. Although the sample size was small and limited to one clinic, applying these programs can have a measurable clinical impact in the treatment of Hispanic DM patients. Future research can further exam how to duplicate this project on a larger scale and over a sustained period.
- Implementation of a Culturally-Tailored Diabetes Education Program in a Medically-Underserved Community Health Clinic