Development and Piloting of a Community Health Worker-based Intervention for the Prevention of Diabetes Among New Zealand Māori in Te Wai O Rona: Diabetes Prevention Strategy
Simmons, D; Rush, E; Crook, N
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Objective The progression from impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)/impaired fasting glucose (IFG) to type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through intensive lifestyle changes. How to translate this to implementation across whole communities remains unclear. We now describe the results to a pilot of a personal trainer (Maori Community Health Worker, MCHW) approach among Maori in New Zealand. Design, setting and subjects A randomised cluster-controlled trial of intensive lifestyle change was commenced among 5240 non-pregnant Maori family members without diabetes from 106 rural and 106 urban geographical clusters. Baseline assessments included lifestyle questionnaires, anthropometric measurements and venesection. A pilot study (Vanguard Study) cohort of 160 participants were weighed before and during MCHW intervention, and compared with fifty-two participants weighed immediately before intervention and with 1143 participants from the same geographical area. Interactions between participants and the MCHW were reported using personal digital assistants with a programmed detailed structured approach to each interview. Results During the Vanguard Study, participants and MCHW found the messages, toolkit and delivery approach acceptable. Those with IGT/IFG diagnosed (n 27) experienced significant weight loss after screening and during the Vanguard Study (5·2 (sd 6·6) kg, paired t test P < 0·01). Significant weight loss occurred during the Vanguard Study among all participants (−1·3 (sd 3·6) kg, P < 0·001). Conclusions Comparable initial weight loss was shown among those with IGT/IFG and those from existing trials. Community-wide prevention programmes are feasible among Maori and are likely to result in significant reductions in the incidence of diabetes.