Telemedicine Training and Support for Community Health Workers: Improving Knowledge of Diabetes

Telemed J E Health. 2020 Feb;26(2):244-250. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0313. Epub 2019 Mar 6.


Background: Community health workers (CHWs) are a well-established source to improve patient health care, yet their training and support remain suboptimal. This limits program expansion and potentially compromises patient safety. The objective of the study was to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of weekly training and support by telemedicine (videoconferencing). Materials and Methods: CHWs (n = 6) who led diabetes group visits for low-income Latinos met weekly with a health care professional for training and support. Feasibility and acceptability outcome measures included telemedicine usability, knowledge of diabetes (baseline to 6 months), and program satisfaction. Results: Telemedicine training and support were found to be feasible and acceptable as measured by usability (Telehealth Usability Questionnaire: average 4.7/5.0, ±0.4), knowledge (Diabetes Knowledge Test: pretest 15.8 ± 1.3, posttest 21.8 ± 1.2, p < 0.001, respectively), and satisfaction (Texas Department of State Health Services survey: average 5.8/6.0, ±0.5). All CHWs preferred telemedicine to in-person training. Conclusions: Telemedicine is a feasible and acceptable modality to train and support CHWs.

Keywords: community health worker; diabetes; education; low income; telemedicine; training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't