COVID-19-Related Project Enhancement
The COVID-19 crisis is disproportionally affecting minority communities, including Pacific Islanders living in Arkansas, who have tested positive for COVID-19 at a rate at least 300 percent higher than that of the general population. To reduce the disparities caused by COVID-19 and ultimately compare the effectiveness of prevention interventions among low-income minority communities most effected by COVID-19, it is critical to understand minority populations.
Through this enhancement, the research team will study COVID-19 and the Pacific Islander community to gain a better understanding of risk exposure, knowledge of preventive recommendations, barriers and facilitators to implementing preventive recommendations, and barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 testing, when appropriate.
Enhancement Award Amount: $472,607*
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 getting 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 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 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 384 Marshallese adults who have pre-diabetes and overweight or obesity and live in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The team is assigning patients by chance to receive one of two education programs on diabetes prevention. Both programs are led in Marshallese and English by a community educator. Both are group classes that meet in a church.
- The Wholeness, Oneness, Righteousness, Deliverance, or 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 participants at the start of the study and 6 and 12 months later. The team is looking at changes in weight loss as the primary outcome measure. People in the Marshallese community chose blood sugar levels, blood pressure, exercise, and diet as secondary outcome measures. The study is also looking at whether family and social supports affect outcomes.
People from the Marshallese community are study partners who provide ongoing support to ensure that the research is meaningful and culturally appropriate.
Research methods at a glance
Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions
Low Health Literacy/Numeracy
COVID-19-Related Project Enhancement
*All proposed enhancement projects, including requested project plans, budgets and milestone schedules, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award modification.