Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes

Memphis Team at the Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees' Conference

Faith-Based Support of T2DM Self-Management for African-Americans

2014 Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees' Conference
December 1-3, 2014
National Harbor, MD

M.T. Hartig, P. Johnson, R. Frazier, M. Clayton, G. Oliver, B.W. Nelson, & B.J. Williams-Cleaves

Purpose: The Diabetes for Life Project (DFL) focused on health care disparities and significant challenges to the management of Type-2 diabetes (T2DM) among a low-income, predominantly African American population in Memphis. This presentation describes enlisting an existing faith-based network (Memphis Healthy Churches [MHC]) to address patient and system issues related to disparities in diabetes.

Methods: DFL engaged Church Health Representatives (CHRs) to recruit participants and as resources within churches for congregants enrolled in DFL to provide peer support and diabetes self-management education (DSME). All churches had existing health ministries, but many without formal organization or depth in DSME provided by DFL.

Results/Expected Results: The final intervention group consisted of 224 participants with a comparison sample of 65 participants. Among positive outcomes for the intervention group, clinical outcomes improved in five areas with significant improvement in A1c and systolic blood pressure. They experienced increases in seven of eight healthy self-care activities and a decrease in one unhealthy activity of eating high fat food. Diabetes Self-Efficacy and perceived self-confidence for diabetes management improved while scores in the comparison group declined.

Discussion/Conclusion: Results achieved the desired changes in patient clinical outcomes and DSME skills. Use of faith-based organizations enhanced the support available to African American participants. Participation in DFL activities strengthened health ministries and identified approaches to enhance and extend existing activities for education and promoting positive behavior change. A large local health care system now uses faith-based networks established by MHC to integrate outreach into health system efforts to care for patients with chronic diseases.