Effectiveness of a Community Health Worker Intervention Among African American and Latino Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

A Randomized Controlled Trial

This randomized controlled trial enrolled 164 African American and Latino adults with type 2 diabetes in Detroit, Michigan for a six-month program. Participants in the intervention arm of the trial received home visits, classes and clinic sessions from specially trained community health workers. The researchers conducted linear mixed models to compare HbA1c values, a measure of glycemic control, of the intervention and control groups.

Key Findings:

  • After six months, the mean HbA1c level of the intervention group dropped from 8.6 percent to 7.8 percent, while the HbA1c level of the control group remained constant at 8.4 percent.
  • The intervention group reported significant improvements in knowledge about diabetes self-management and physical activity.

This study shows that a community health worker intervention can help diabetic patients lower their glycemic levels and can potentially improve the course of the disease. This study is one of the first randomized controlled trials to demonstrate the value of community health workers in health care delivery.