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?
The Marshallese, a Pacific Islander population, have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. The rate of diabetes among the Marshallese living in the United States is four times higher than the general population. Diabetes can cause serious health issues, such as kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, or blindness.
Some lifestyle habits like healthy eating and exercise can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. The research team wants to learn if educational tools designed for the U.S. Marshallese population can help them adopt healthy habits. In this study, the research team is comparing two programs to prevent diabetes in the Marshallese community in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Who can this research help?
Communities and healthcare providers can use these results when considering best ways to help prevent diabetes among U.S. Marshallese and other Pacific Islander populations.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is recruiting 378 Marshallese adults with overweight or obesity living in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The team is assigning patients by chance to receive one of two diabetes education programs. Both programs are led in Marshallese and English by a community educator. Both are group classes that meet in a church:
- The WORD Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Intervention, or DPP-LI, is a standard diabetes education program for the general public. This program teaches participants to draw on their faith to make healthy changes.
- The Pacific DPP-LI is a form of the DPP-LI designed for Pacific Islander populations. This program teaches participants to draw on family and community to make healthy changes.
The research team is collecting data from patients at the beginning, middle, and end of the one-year study. The team is looking at changes in weight loss, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, exercise, and diet. The study is also looking at whether family and social supports affect these results.
People from the Marshallese community are helping to guide the study.
Research methods at a glance
*All proposed projects are approved subject to a programmatic and budgetary review by PCORI, and the acceptance of PCORI’s contract terms and conditions.