A project to reduce the burden of diabetes in the African-American Community: Project DIRECT

J Natl Med Assoc. 1998 Oct;90(10):605-13.


Project DIRECT (Diabetes Interventions Reaching and Educating Communities Together) is the first comprehensive community diabetes demonstration project in the United States in an African-American community. This article describes its intervention components and evaluation design. The development and implementation of Project DIRECT has included the community since the project's beginning. Interventions are targeted in three areas: health promotion (improving diet and physical activity levels), outreach (improving diabetes awareness, detection of undiagnosed diabetes, and ensuring that persons with diabetes who are not receiving continuing diabetes care are integrated into the health-care system), and diabetes care (improving self-care, increasing access, and improving the quality of diabetes preventive care received within the health-care system). Evaluation will be internal (conducted by Project DIRECT staff to assess process outcomes in persons directly exposed to each specific intervention) and external (review of outcomes to assess the impact of the multi-intervention program at the level of the entire community). Because diabetes exacts a disproportionate toll among African Americans, the findings from this project should aid in developing strategies to lessen the burden of this disorder, particularly among minority populations.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Community Health Services
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • North Carolina
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation