Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 163–171 | Cite as

The Role of Community Health Workers in Diabetes: Update on Current Literature

  • Megha ShahEmail author
  • Elizabeth Kaselitz
  • Michele HeislerEmail author
Health Care Delivery Systems in Diabetes (D Wexler, Section Editor)


Community health worker (CHW) interventions have been found to be a promising strategy for improving diabetes outcomes, especially among low-income and racial and ethnic minority populations. This review serves as an update of the literature published since 2011 on CHWs’ role in diabetes care. In our review of the most current literature, we noted several key areas of advancement. These areas include community-based participatory research approaches to intervention development and evaluation, analyses of the cost effectiveness of CHW interventions, evaluation of sustainability through integrated team-based approaches, thorough descriptions of characteristics and training of CHWs, and delineation of the scope of practice and most effective roles for CHWs.


Community health worker (CHW) Type 2 diabetes Diabetes self-management Diabetes care team Community-based participatory research (CBPR) 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars ProgramUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Center for Clinical Management ResearchAnn Arbor Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Healthcare SystemAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  6. 6.Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center (MDRTC)University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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