Concurrent with our core research project, a team led by Associate Research Scientist Amber Hromi-Fielder, PhD, MPH is conducting a realist review of published research articles on Type 2 diabetes prevention/ lifestyle management interventions in low-income communities. The purpose of this review is to determine how, why and in what circumstances diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) delivered virtually can effectively improve diabetes risk factors among adults with lower incomes. The team will search for articles on: (1) diabetes prevention and lifestyle management programs, (2) virtual services, and (3) community health workers (CHWs), and will then look for areas of overlap between these topics to help address these questions.
Adults with lower incomes are at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, but face barriers to participating in programs to help reduce this risk. Virtual services have been proposed as a way to reduce these barriers. Although they’ve been found effective in improving diabetes self-management among adults in general, less is known about their effectiveness in preventing diabetes in adults with lower incomes.
CHWs can serve as a critical link to providing health services to these adults. Research has been published on virtual delivery of DPPs, and the roles of CHWs in diabetes prevention. However, there is a gap in knowledge concerning the role of CHWS in the virtual delivery of DPPs. The realist review is intended to help fill in this gap.