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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Studies Show Community Health Workers Key to Diabetes Prevention

Health interventions involving community health workers have emerged as an important approach to health promotion, including diabetes prevention, according to analysis from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Research Assistant Professor Rachel Tabak
[Photo: Dr. Rachel Tabak]

Researchers reviewed 44 studies of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), including data about cultural adaptation, implementation outcomes and translation strategies.

Among their findings: Using community health workers to deliver interventions is beneficial for recruitment and retention of participants because the health workers are typically respected, trusted and responsive. They can bridge cultural divides between community residents and the health care system, and can be more cost-effective than health care professionals in some interventions.

“The DPP is being tested or evaluated in a variety of settings and populations,” wrote Dr. Rachel Tabak, research assistant professor at the Brown School. “When researchers provide detailed reporting of adaptations and lessons learned it can help the DPP be effectively adapted for populations that experience a disproportionate burden of obesity and diabetes.”

The analysis was published online September 16 in Translational Behavioral Medicine.

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