This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
In the United States, 13 percent of African-American adults have diabetes. Eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and tracking blood sugar can help people with diabetes stay healthy. But making changes can be hard.
Studies have shown that working with health coaches or getting encouraging text messages from doctors’ offices can help patients make healthy choices. The research team wants to compare how well these approaches help African Americans with diabetes improve their self-care. Types of self-care include diet, exercise, blood sugar testing, foot care, taking medicine, and stopping smoking. In this study, the research team is focusing on people who live in communities with few resources.
Who can this research help?
Doctors and health system leaders can use results of this research when considering ways to help patients with diabetes improve their health.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is recruiting 646 African-American adults age 18 and older who have diabetes along with other health problems. The team is assigning patients by chance to one of three groups:
- Text support: Patients get text messages from their doctors’ office for one year. The text messages are based on the patient’s needs and interests. They address topics such as healthy eating, exercise, and setting goals to take medicine.
- Health coaching: Patients work with a health coach for one year. The health coaches offer support on topics such as healthy eating, exercise, and taking medicine. Meetings take place twice a month for the first two or three months, and then monthly for the remainder of the year.
- Enhanced usual care: Patients receive educational materials and access to support services, such as peer group support sessions. Doctors and nurses who treat patients receive training on ways to support patients with diabetes.
Over one year, the research team is comparing changes in health behaviors for patients who take part in each group. The team is looking for changes in patients’ diabetes self-care. In addition, the team is studying patients’ blood sugar levels, quality of life, and feelings about primary care.
Patients, doctors, and community group leaders taking part in the Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Coalition of the Mid-South and MODEL learning collaborative are working with the research team to plan and conduct this study.