Purpose: The study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and potential impact of an innovative, community-based, ongoing self-management intervention aimed at enhancing and sustaining self-care behaviors over the long term among urban African Americans with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: Sixty-two African American men and women completed the study. Participants were invited to attend 24 weekly, consecutive, diabetes self-management support/ education groups. The flow of the weekly group sessions was guided by questions and concerns of the patients. Baseline and 6-month follow-up metabolic functioning, lipid profiles, cardiovascular functioning, and self-care behaviors were assessed.
Results: Ninety percent (n = 56) of the sample attended at least 1 session; 40% attended at least 12 or more sessions. Paired t tests found significant improvements in body mass index (P < .001), total cholesterol (P < .01), high-density lipoprotein (P < .05), and low-density lipoprotein (P < .001). Significant increases were also found for self-care behaviors (P < .05).
Conclusions: Preliminary evidence suggests that participation in this weekly problem-based, self-management support intervention can yield diabetes-related health benefits.