Purpose: The purpose of the study was to pilot test the effectiveness of a diabetes self-management program for African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in a group format in a faith-based setting. The rationale for the study was to create appropriate diabetes education in response to the growing diabetes prevalence among African Americans. The investigator hypothesized that after completing a 12-week program, participants would have improved diabetes knowledge, self-management practices, hemoglobin A1C, and an increase in self-efficacy. By reaching these goals, this program would contribute to one of the Healthy People 2020 objectives of increasing the proportion of persons with diabetes receiving self-management education.

Methods: The program consisted of six-weekly, 90-minute diabetes education group sessions offered in two faith-based settings. A total of 20 African American adults with T2D were nonrandomized to a standard of care group that received pamphlets through the mail (healthy eating, physical activity, and glucose monitoring) or the intervention group who received the weekly education presented by a research assistant. Both groups were followed for an additional 6 weeks. A1C was measured at baseline and at 12 weeks. All other data were collected pre and post by self-administered questionnaires.

Results: At 12 weeks, the diabetes self-management intervention group did not demonstrate significant improvements in A1C as compared to the standard of care group (p = 0.105). However, participants in the intervention group did have statistically significant improvements in self-management practices (p = 0.002), and self-efficacy (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Diabetes self-management in a faith-based group setting approach demonstrated an effective format in which to improve diabetes self-management practices, self-efficacy, and diabetes knowledge among African American adults with T2D.

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