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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Minnesota: Partnering Diabetes Community Support Groups with Clinics and Patients Could Help Improve Disease Management

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health recently conducted a pilot study connecting a local diabetes community support group with a neighborhood clinic and found that the collaboration improved the ability of patients to care for their condition.

The study, led by adjunct assistant professor Dr. Pamela Jo Johnson and co-authored by associate professor Dr. Todd Rockwood, was published in the journal Diabetes Spectrum.

The concept for the study centered around a diabetes self-management support group in an ethnically diverse Twin Cities neighborhood that offered weekly, culturally-sensitive meetings to educate, ask questions, seek advice and measure important health statistics including weight, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.

For the study, the researchers partnered the support group with a neighborhood clinic operated by Allina Health of Minneapolis. Diabetes patients who had visited the clinic in the past year were sent an invitation to join a 10-week group support program as well as complete a survey seeking information about their experiences living with diabetes. 

Analysis of survey and evaluation responses showed that patients who completed the program:

“In a nutshell, the people who participated in the program did better in terms of their self-care activities, felt the group was helpful to them, and were in a better position to work with their providers,” said Dr. Johnson.

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