Community-based intervention for managing hypertension and diabetes in rural Bangladesh

Trop Med Health. 2024 Jan 24;52(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s41182-023-00574-0.


Background: Approximately 80% of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been reported in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, studies on the usefulness of educational interventions run by non-healthcare workers in combating NCDs in resource-limited areas in rural parts of LMICs are limited. This study aimed to identify the effectiveness of a community-based simple educational program run by non-healthcare trained staff for several outcomes associated with NCDs in a resource-limited area.

Methods: Six villages in the Narail district in Bangladesh were selected, two each in the first and second intervention and the control groups, in the Narail district in Bangladesh were selected. Pre- and post-intervention survey data were collected. The first intervention group received the "strong" educational intervention that included a checklist poster on the wall, phone call messages, personalized advice papers, seminar videos, and face-to-face seminars. The second intervention group received a "weak" intervention that included only a checklist poster on the wall in their house. The outcome was the proportion of NCDs and changes in systolic blood pressure and blood sugar level. Confidential fixed-effects logistic regression and multiple linear regression were performed to identify the effectiveness of the intervention.

Results: Overall, 600 participants completed the baseline survey and the follow-up survey. The mean systolic blood pressure reduced by 7.3 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.6-9.9) in the first intervention group, 1.9 mm Hg (95% CI - 0.5-4.2) in the second intervention group, and 4.7 mm Hg (95% CI 2.4-7.0) in the control group. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that the between-group differences in the decline in systolic blood pressure were significant for the first intervention versus control (p = 0.001), but not for the second intervention versus control (p = 0.21). The between-group differences in the reduction in blood glucose after the intervention, were not significant on multiple linear regression analysis.

Conclusions: Community-based educational interventions for NCDs provided by non-healthcare staff improved the outcomes of hypertension and risk behaviors. Well-designed community-based educational interventions should be frequently implemented to reduce NCDs in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries. Trial registration UMIN Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR; UMIN000050171) retrospectively registered on January 29, 2023.

Keywords: Bangladesh; Community survey; Community-based participatory research; Global health; Non-communicable diseases.