Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

CUNY Studies the Health Effectiveness of Community Health Workers

Dr. Katarryna Wyka, a professor all from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and colleagues examined the health effectiveness of community health workers as a diabetes self-management intervention. The findings were published in the journal Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research.

[Photo: Dr. Katarryna Wyka]

The goal of this study was to evaluate the health effectiveness of community health workers among Hispanic adults with uncontrolled (HbA1c >8 percent) type 2 diabetes mellitus.

This was a randomized clinical trial involving 180 English- and Spanish-speaking Hispanic individuals with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, 40-74 years of age, who received diabetes care at an outpatient, public, urban hospital. The trial included three groups: intervention, attentional control, and control groups.

The team used statistics to evaluate the effect of time and group on the primary outcome measure and secondary outcomes. The research team used chi-square tests to assess group differences in the percentage of participants achieving at least 1 percent reduction in HbA1c levels.

Patients’ ages ranged from 44 to 74 years, 40 percent were male, 97 percent preferred Spanish and there were seven Spanish-speaking countries identified as country of origin. Relative to the control and attentional control groups, the intervention group showed greater HbA1c reduction from baseline to 12 months and was the group with the highest percentage of participants showing one percent or more HbA1c reduction.

The research team concluded that integration of community health workers improved disease control for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus during the intervention phase.