Peer Leader Support for Diabetes Management Involving Tai Chi
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October 19, 2015 -
Researchers from Anhui Provincial Center
for Disease Control and Prevention of China, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill and Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, worked together to
evaluate a peer leader-support program (PLSP) for diabetes self-management in China in terms of acceptability and
feasibility; implementation; perceived advantages; disadvantages and barriers;
reach and recruitment; effectiveness in terms of diabetes knowledge and clinical impacts;
adoption; and sustainability.
Within each of the 3 cities in Anhui Province, 2 sub communities
were randomly assigned to usual care or PLSP. Peer leaders and staff of
Community Health Service
Centers (CHSCs) co-led biweekly educational meetings. Peer leaders also led biweekly discussion
meetings, promoted regular care through
the CHSCs, organized informal health promotion
activities including walking and Tai Chi, and provided informal individual
participants through casual contact.
Qualitative evaluations indicated acceptance of and positive
responses to the program among patients, peer leaders, and CHSC staff.
Implementation was successful in 2 of 3 sub communities, the third failing for
lack of staff resources. Reported advantages included peer support as a bridge between CHSCs and their
patients. In 2 sites where the PLSP was implemented, analyses controlling for
baseline differences and site showed significant benefits for PLSP relative to
controls for knowledge, self-efficacy, BMI, systolic blood pressure, diastolic
blood pressure, and both fasting and 2-hour post-prandial blood glucose. The
Anhui Provincial Health Bureau
has extended the PLSP model to other communities and to cardiovascular disease
prevention and management.
The PLSP was well accepted, feasible
given sufficient administrative and staff resources, effective for those who
participated, and generalizable to other sites and health problems.