Dr. Akiko Hosler, associate professor of epidemiology and associate chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, recently co-authored a qualitative study titled “Assessing Needs and Feasibility of Diabetes Self-Management Coaching at Faith-Based Organizations for Indo-Guyanese Immigrants”. The study, published online in The Diabetes Educator, examines the barriers and needs associated with diabetes care and the feasibility of diabetes self-management (DSM) education or “coaching” at faith-based organizations (FBOs) for the Indo-Guyanese community in Schenectady, New York. The study presents evidence of the feasibility of an FBO-based intervention for the Indo-Guyanese community and provides insights into creating culturally appropriate intervention format and strategy.
Results from the study identified barriers pertaining to diet-related knowledge and skills, access to structured DSM education, hyperglycemia control, and environmental support for physical activity. Overall, participants responded positively to receiving free DSM coaching at their FBOs, and they favored having a qualified health care professional such as a certified diabetes educator as their coach. Participants also welcomed coaching in all facets of DSM, with food preparation/diet identified as the topic most frequently requested by participants. Participants noted preference to periodic telephone calls at home from the coach rather than having contact with the coach via emails and text messages. Generally, DSM coaching at FBOs rated high on key measurements of feasibility, particularly affordability, accessibility, acceptability, cultural relevance, and safety within the Indo-Guyanese community.
Co-authors of the study include Ms. Malini Solanki, and Ms. Sanghamitra Savadatti, students in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health.