Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 296–308 | Cite as

Culturally tailoring patient education and communication skills training to empower African-Americans with diabetes

  • Monica E Peek
  • Sheila A Harmon
  • Shelley J Scott
  • Milton Eder
  • Tonya S Roberson
  • Hui Tang
  • Marshall H Chin
Original Research


New translational strategies are needed to improve diabetes outcomes among low-income African-Americans. Our goal was to develop/pilot test a patient intervention combining culturally tailored diabetes education with shared decision-making training. This was an observational cohort study. Surveys and clinical data were collected at baseline, program completion, and 3 and 6 months. There were 21 participants; the mean age was 61 years. Eighty-six percent of participants attended >70 % of classes. There were improvements in diabetes self-efficacy, self-care behaviors (i.e., following a “healthful eating plan” (mean score at baseline 3.4 vs. 5.2 at program’s end; p = 0.002), self glucose monitoring (mean score at baseline 4.3 vs. 6.2 at program’s end; p = 0.04), and foot care (mean score at baseline 4.1 vs. 6.0 at program’s end; p = 0.001)), hemoglobin A1c (8.24 at baseline vs. 7.33 at 3-month follow-up, p = 0.02), and HDL cholesterol (51.2 at baseline vs. 61.8 at 6-month follow-up, p = 0.01). Combining tailored education with shared decision-making may be a promising strategy for empowering low-income African-Americans and improving health outcomes.


Diabetes Patient empowerment Diabetes education Shared decision-making African-Americans 



This research was supported by the University of Chicago CTSA Pilot Grant Award Program, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (R18DK083946 and the Diabetes Research and Training Center [P60 DK20595]), and the Merck Company Foundation. Dr. Peek is supported by the Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development Award of the NIDDK (K23 DK075006). Support for Dr. Chin is provided by an NIDDK Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24 DK071933).


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Copyright information

© Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica E Peek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sheila A Harmon
    • 5
  • Shelley J Scott
    • 5
  • Milton Eder
    • 5
  • Tonya S Roberson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hui Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marshall H Chin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Diabetes Research and Training CenterUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Center for Health and the Social SciencesUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Center for the Study of Race, Politics and CultureUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Access Community Health Network (ACCESS)ChicagoUSA

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