Purpose: To determine the impact that a high-fiber, low-fat diet, derived from mostly plant-based sources, when coupled with support has upon self-management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Latinos from medically underserved areas (MUAs).
Design: Experimental randomized controlled community pilot study.
Setting: Three community clinics in MUAs located within San Bernardino County, California.
Participants: Thirty-two randomly assigned Latinos with A1C greater than 6.4: 15 control and 17 experimental.
Intervention: Participants completed a 5-week education program. Researchers provided follow-up support for 17 randomly assigned experimental group participants through focus groups held at participating clinics-1, 3, and 6 months posteducation.
Measures: Changes in fat and fiber consumption were measured using a modified Dietary Screener for Mexican Americans. Self-management was measured through the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Scale and Diabetes Quality of Life Measure.
Analysis: Baseline characteristics for both groups were analyzed using independent t tests and χ2 tests. A 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to analyze biometric data between baseline and 6 months for both groups.
Results: Mean A1C levels decreased from baseline to 6 months for both groups: control, μ1 = 9.57, μ2 = 9.49; experimental, μ1 = 8.53, μ2 = 7.31.
Conclusion: The experimental group demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in mean A1C levels ( P = .002) when compared to the control group.
Keywords: Latinos; diabetes self-management education; focus groups; medically underserved population; plant-based diet; randomized controlled community trial; support groups; type 2 diabetes.