The value of community health workers in diabetes management in low-income populations: A qualitative study
To describe community health workers (CHWs) roles in a diabetes self-management intervention. Retrospective qualitative inductive analysis of open text home visit encounter form from Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer AID), a randomized controlled trial in which low-income individuals with poorly controlled diabetes received either CHW home visits or usual care. Following visits, CHWs completed encounter forms documenting the health goal of the visit, the self-management strategies discussed and participant concerns. 634 encounter reports were completed for the 145 intervention participants. CHW notes revealed three main obstacles to optimal disease control: gaps in diabetes knowledge and self-management skills; socioeconomic conditions; and the complexity of the healthcare system. CHWs helped participants overcome these obstacles through extensive, hands-on education, connecting participants to community resources, and assistance navigating the medical system. In addition, the CHWs offered uncomplicated accessibility and availability to their clients. CHWs can be a valuable asset for low-income patients with chronic health conditions who may require more support than what can provided in a typical primary care visit.
Silverman J, Krieger J, Sayre G, Nelson K. The value of community health workers in diabetes management in low-income populations: A qualitative study. J Community Health. 2018;43(5):842-847. PMID: 29497934. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-018-0491-3.