News Release

Peer coaching focused on building patient autonomy associated with higher levels of patient engagement in diabetes self management

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

A new study on diabetes self-management found that autonomy-supportive peer coaching is associated with higher levels of patient engagement. The study assessed the characteristics of low-income, Black veteran men who participated in a peer coaching program called Technologically Enhanced Coaching: A Program to Improve Diabetes Outcomes (VA-TEC) at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit and analyzed their levels of program engagement and health outcomes at six and 12 months.


At the six-month follow-up, participants who evaluated their peer coaches as highly autonomy-supportive were more likely to have engaged in the program than participants who rated their coaches lower on autonomy supportiveness. Additionally, the authors highlight characteristics of peer coaches who contributed to increased patient engagement including shared background and lived experiences with participants; sharing information on resources and self-management strategies that were helpful in their own lives; being encouraging, supportive and authentic during sessions; and being reliable and consistent.


The study provides important insights for self-management support programs tailored to promote positive health outcomes for low-income Black veteran men.  


Peer Coaching to Improve Diabetes Self-Management Among Low-Income Black Veteran Men: A Mixed Methods Assessment of Enrollment and Engagement

Cassie D. Turner, MSW, et al

University of Michigan and Ann Arbor Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan                   

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