Training community health promoters to implement diabetes self-management support programs for urban minority adults

Mariceli Comellas, Elizabeth A. Walker, Sharon Movsas, Sheryl Merkin, Joel Zonszein, Hal Strelnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective To develop, implement, and evaluate a peer-led diabetes self-management support program in English and Spanish for a diverse, urban, low-income population. The program goals and objectives were to improve diabetes self-management behaviors, especially becoming more physically active, healthier eating, medication adherence, problem solving, and goal setting. Methods After a new training program for peers led by a certified diabetes educator (CDE) was implemented with 5 individuals, this pilot evaluation study was conducted in 2 community settings in the East and South Bronx. Seventeen adults with diabetes participated in the new peer-led 5-session program. Survey data were collected pre- and postintervention on diabetes self-care activities, quality of well-being, and number of steps using a pedometer. Results This pilot study established the acceptance and feasibility of both the peer training program and the community-based, peer-led program for underserved, minority adults with diabetes. Significant improvements were found in several physical activity and nutrition activities, with a modest improvement in well-being. Feedback from both peer facilitators and participants indicated that a longer program, but with the same educational materials, was desirable. Conclusions To reduce health disparities in urban communities, it is essential to continue program evaluation of the critical elements of peer-led programs for multiethnic adults with diabetes to promote self-management support in a cost-effective and culturally appropriate manner. Practice Implications A diabetes self-management support program can be successfully implemented in the community by peers, within a model including remote supervision by a CDE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes Educator
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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