October 1, 2020

Implementation outcomes of a culturally adapted diabetes self-management education intervention for Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders

Kaʻimi A. Sinclair, Anna Zamora-Kapoor, Claire Townsend-Ing, Pearl A. McElfish and Joseph Keaweʻaimoku Kaholokula

BMC Public Health

Background: Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) experience a disproportionate burden of type 2 diabetes and related complications. Although diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) interventions have generally yielded positive results, few NHPIs have been included in these studies, and even fewer studies have been evaluated using a randomized controlled trial design and/or implementation research methods. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate implementation outcomes of a culturally adapted diabetes self-management education intervention delivered by peer educators to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders residing in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Methods: In three study sites, the peer educators and 48 participants randomized to the intervention were invited to participate in the mixed methods implementation research. We used a convergent parallel design to collect implementation data including fidelity, feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness, adoption, and sustainability. Data were collected from class observations, participants’ class feedback, and post-intervention focus groups with participants and peer educators.

Results: In 314 end-of-class feedback surveys, 97% of respondents expressed that they were satisfied or highly satisfied with the class content and activities, 98% reported that the classes and materials were very useful, 94% reported very applicable, and 93% reported materials were culturally appropriate. Respondents identified several aspects of the program as especially enjoyable: interactions with peer educators, meeting in groups, learning about other participants’ experiences with diabetes, and the information presented in each class. Major themes that emerged from the end-of-intervention focus groups were the relevance of the educational materials, strategies to manage blood glucose, hands-on activities, cultural aspects of the program, including the stories and analogies used to convey information, and appreciation of the group format and peer educators.

Conclusions: Results from this research support a culturally tailored, peer educator approach to DSMES among NHPIs. Delivery of the Partners in Care program is feasible in health care and community settings and is a reimbursable DSMES program.

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