Background. Native Hawaiians (NH) and Other Pacific Islanders (OPI) bear an excess burden of diabetes health disparities. Translation of empirically tested interventions such as the Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Intervention (DPP-LI) offers the potential for reversing these trends. Yet, little is known about how best to translate efficacious interventions into public health practice, particularly among racial/ethnic minority populations. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an approach that engages the community in the research process and has recently been proposed as a means to improve the translation of research into community practice.
Objectives. To address diabetes health disparities in NHOPIs, CBPR approaches were used to: (1) culturally adapt the DPP-LI for NHOPI communities; and (2) implement and examine the effectiveness of the culturally-adapted program to promote weight loss in 5 NHOPI communities.
Methods. Informant interviews (n=15) and focus groups (n=15, with 112 NHOPI participants) were completed to inform the cultural adaptation of the DPP-LI program. A team of 5 community investigators and 1 academic research team collaboratively developed and implemented the 12-week pilot study to assess the effectiveness of the culturally adapted program.
Results. A total of 127 NHOPIs participated in focus groups and informant interviews that resulted in the creation of a significantly modified version of the DPP-LI, entitled the PILI 'Ohana Lifestyle Intervention (POLI). In the pilot study, 239 NHOPIs were enrolled and after 12 weeks (post-program), mean weight loss was -1.5 kg (95%CI -2.0, -1.0) with 26% of participants losing ≥3% of their baseline weight. Mean weight loss among participants who completed all 8 lessons at 12 weeks was significantly higher (-1.8 kg, 95%CI -2.3, -1.3) than participants who completed less than 8 lessons (-0.70 kg, 95%CI -1.1, -0.29).
Conclusion. A fully engaged CBPR approach was successful in translating an evidence based diabetes prevention program into a culturally relevant intervention for NHOPI communities. This pilot study demonstrates that weight loss in high risk minority populations can be achieved over a short period of time using CBPR approaches.