Translating Comparative Effectiveness Research Into Practice: Effects of Interventions on Lifestyle, Medication Adherence, and Self-care for Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, and Obesity Among Black, Hispanic, and Asian Residents of Chicago and Houston, 2010 to 2013

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017 Sep/Oct;23(5):468-476. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000525.


Context: In the United States, racial/ethnic minorities account for disproportionate disease and death from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; however, interventions with measured efficacy in comparative effectiveness research are often not adopted or used widely in those communities.

Objective: To assess implementation and effects of comparative effectiveness research-proven interventions translated for minority communities.

Design: Mixed-method assessment with pretest-posttest single-group evaluation design.

Setting: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, research contractor, and advisory board; health centers, including a federally qualified community health center in Chicago, Illinois; and public housing facilities for seniors in Houston, Texas.

Participants: A total of 97 black, Hispanic, and Asian participants with any combination of health care provider-diagnosed type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or obesity.

Interventions: Virtual training institutes where intervention staff learned cultural competency methods of adapting effective interventions. Health educators delivered the Health Empowerment Lifestyle Program (HELP) in Chicago; community pharmacists delivered the MyRx Medication Adherence Program in Houston.

Main outcome measures: Participation rates, satisfaction with interventions during January to April 2013, and pre- to postintervention changes in knowledge, diet, and clinical outcomes were analyzed through July 2013.

Results: In Chicago, 38 patients experienced statistically significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c and systolic blood pressure, increased knowledge of hypertension management, and improved dietary behaviors. In Houston, 38 subsidized housing residents had statistically nonsignificant improvements in knowledge of self-management and adherence to medication for diabetes and hypertension but high levels of participation in pharmacist home visits and group education classes.

Conclusion: Adaptation, adoption, and implementation of HELP and MyRx demonstrated important postintervention changes among racial/ethnic participants in Chicago and Houston. The communities faced similar implementation challenges across settings, targets of change, and cities. Available resources were insufficient to sustain benefits with measurable impact on racial/ethnic disparities beyond the study period. Results suggest the need for implementation studies of longer duration, greater power, and salience to policies and programs that can sustain longterm interventions on a community-wide scale.