A peer-delivered program for managing diabetes and chronic pain was shown to be beneficial for rural adults in communities that might otherwise lack access to physician-led services. Trained community members in rural Alabama delivered a diabetes self-management program that incorporated cognitive behavioral approaches to overcoming pain as a barrier to physical activity. Peer trainers were African American women who had personal experiences with diabetes and were lifelong community members. Similarly, participants were mostly low-income African American women recruited through community connections and assigned to the intervention by town block randomization. Adults who completed the 10-week program showed significant improvements in functional status, pain, and quality of life, when compared to a peer-led general health advice control group. At the end of the program, adults in the cognitive behavioral therapy-based program were more likely to report having no pain or finding alternative exercises when pain prevented them from walking. These results demonstrate that peers trained to deliver CBT-based interventions can improve health outcomes in areas where access is limited.
Peer-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Training to Improve Functioning in Patients With Diabetes: A Cluster-Randomized Trial
Monika M. Safford, MD, et al
Weill Cornell Medicine, Department of Medicine, New York, New York