Evaluating a community health centre's diabetes project: A strategy to reduce health disparities
Diabetes is a senous health problem in the African American community. African Americans experience significantly higher rates of diabetes, diabetes complications, and premature mortality compared to Caucasians. The current study examined a Diabetes Project implemented by a local community health care center that serves predominantly low income and underserved populations. The goal of this research was to detennine the usefulness, feasibility, and potential effectiveness of the Diabetes Project. There were 216 participants (147 females and 69 males) of mean age 53.56 (SD = 14.71) consisting of 143 (66.2%) African Americans, 55 (25.5%) Caucasians, and 18 (8.3%) Other. The average time patients were enrolled in the Diabetes Project was 2.59 years. The HbAlc (blood glucose), blood pressure (BP) -- systolic and diastolic, LDL cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI) was measured at baseline and at the date of the last visit. Three of the five pairwise comparisons were significant - HbAlc, and BP (systolic and diastolic). Although there were no statistically significant differences between gender, race/etlmic groups, and age, there were several statistically significant within group differences. An unexpected fmding was the significant improvements in self-management behaviors of patients at the CHW. Limitations included the fact that this research was not developed at the time of implementing the Diabetes Project. As such, the available data was limited and lacking in details. Recommendations include more effective record keeping and conducting process and impact evaluations on a regular basis. Overall, the results were promising and it appeared that African Americans benefitted the most from the Diabetes Project, which may be serving as a strategy to reduce health disparities.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology