Background: By 2030, 80% of people with diabetes will be living in developing countries.
Purpose: The purpose of this pre-post quasi-experimental study was to test the feasibility of a peer intervention to improve the following: (1) diabetes self-care behaviors, (2) glycemic control, (3) social support and emotional well-being, (4) linkages to health care providers, and (5) to assess the sustainability of the intervention 18 months later.
Method: Participants were adults with type 2 diabetes who resided in rural Uganda. Participants (n = 46) attended a 1-day diabetes education program and agreed to make weekly contacts over 4 months with each other by phone or in person to assist with daily management, provide social and emotional support, and encourage appropriate contact with health care providers.
Results: Results indicated improvement in glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C), diastolic blood pressure, and eating behaviors.
Conclusions: A short-term peer support program was a feasible intervention to improve diabetes care in rural Uganda. Participants were successfully recruited and retained, and they experienced positive behavioral and physiologic outcomes. Elements of the intervention were sustained 18 months after the intervention.