Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority populations. Among Asian Americans, Filipino Americans (FA) have the second highest T2DM prevalence and have an increased risk for developing complications due to lack of engagement in health protective behaviors (e.g., eating healthfully, obtaining adequate activity) and increased social and environmental barriers to optimal self-management (e.g., access to culturally appropriate education programs). While diabetes self-management education (DSME) programs have been shown to significantly improve T2DM outcomes, fewer than 10% of newly-diagnosed individuals receive DSMES within the first year of diagnosis.
Project Dulce is an American Diabetes Association (ADA)-recognized adult T2DM management program developed to address the needs of a racially and ethnically diverse San Diego population. Project Dulce includes a multi-disciplinary team with peer educators delivering DSMES. Previous trials have shown Project Dulce team-care improves clinical management and reduces costs (e.g., Philis-Tsimikas et al., 2004; Gilmer et al., 2005), and that the peer education alone improves clinical outcomes in Hispanics with T2DM (Philis-Tsimikas et al., 2011). The program has been disseminated locally, nationally, and internationally to White and Hispanic populations and has now served over 20,000 people. More recently, the peer education content was adapted via the Dulce Digital program to extend the reach of the care team through text messages derived from the Project Dulce curriculum, including medication reminders, and blood glucose monitoring prompts. This program led to a significant reduction of hemoglobin AHbA1c across 10 months versus usual care in Hispanics with diabetes (Fortmann et al., 2017). While Project Dulce has been adapted and demonstrated improvements in clinical and cost outcomes in Hispanic patients, cultural and digital adaptations are needed to increase and facilitate use in other racial and ethnic minority groups including FAs.
Using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, this study will adapt Project Dulce + Dulce Digital for implementation in FA adults with T2DM. Cultural adaptations aims to facilitate and enhance patient-centered approaches by addressing barriers to DSMES unique to this population, such as linguistic challenges, health literacy and numeracy, cultural beliefs and values, and technology access and use. In addition, ADA has recommended the use of digital technologies as effective methods to deliver DSMES and mitigate barriers to participation. The adaptation process will be demonstrated in partnership with a local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving a large number of FAs from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. This study aims to culturally adapt Project Dulce and Dulce Digital for FAs with T2DM. Specifically, this study aims to:
- examine the effectiveness of the culturally adapted Project Dulce + Dulce Digital in improving diabetes knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among FAs with T2DM;
- examine the effectiveness of the culturally adapted Project Dulce + Dulce Digital in improving HbA1C and self-management behaviors (i.e., diet, physical activity, medication adherence, foot care, blood glucose monitoring from baseline to 3- and 6-months; and
- evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of the culturally adapted Project Dulce + Dulce Digital when delivered by FA peer educator to FA patients with T2DM.
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