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Effectiveness of a Community Health Worker as Sole Diabetes Educator: Comparison of CoDE with Similar Culturally Appropriate Interventions


The feasibility of a newly designed Community Diabetes Education (CoDE) intervention was evaluated in preparation for the development of a pilot study of this program. A comparison between CoDE and similar culturally appropriate diabetes management programs developed specifically for Hispanic Americans demonstrates its unique features. Patient insurance status, duration of the intervention, delivery in individual and/or group settings, the characteristics of the diabetes educator(s), the other professional resources involved in these interventions, the associated costs, and the reported health outcomes were used in the comparison. The significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c observed in patients who completed one year of CoDE suggests that a community health worker can serve as the primary patient educator in the absence of more highly educated personnel required by American Diabetes Association–certified diabetes education programs. This low-cost model can be reproduced de novo in community health centers or inserted into existing diabetes management interventions.