OBJECTIVE The Northern Manhattan Diabetes Community Outreach Project evaluated whether a community health worker (CHW) intervention improved clinically relevant markers of diabetes care in adult Hispanics.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Participants were adult Hispanics, ages 35–70 years, with recent hemoglobin A1c (A1C) ≥8% (≥64 mmol/mol), from a university-affiliated network of primary care practices in northern Manhattan (New York City, NY). They were randomized to a 12-month CHW intervention (n = 181), or enhanced usual care (educational materials mailed at 4-month intervals, preceded by phone calls, n = 179). The primary outcome was A1C at 12 months; the secondary outcomes were systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure, and LDL-cholesterol levels.
RESULTS There was a nonsignificant trend toward improvement in A1C levels in the intervention group (from unadjusted mean A1C of 8.77 to 8.40%), as compared with usual care (from 8.58 to 8.53%) (P = 0.131). There was also a nonsignificant trend toward an increase in SBP and LDL cholesterol in the intervention arm. Intervention fidelity, measured as the number of contacts in the intervention arm (visits, phone contacts, group support, and nutritional education), showed a borderline association with greater A1C reduction (P = 0.054). When assessed separately, phone contacts were associated with greater A1C reduction (P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS The trend toward A1C reduction with the CHW intervention failed to achieve statistical significance. Greater intervention fidelity may achieve better glycemic control, and more accessible treatment models, such as phone-based interventions, may be more efficacious in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
Clinical trial reg. no. NCT00787475, clinicaltrials.gov.
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- Received September 10, 2013.
- Accepted November 27, 2013.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
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