VCU researchers have found that taking part in a community based diabetes self-management program can improve health outcomes for people living with disease, and in particular, in underserved communities.
The VCU study looked at the YMCA of Greater Richmond Diabetes Control Program. Dr. Briana Mezuk is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. She said they closely examined outcomes. “And we found that people who completed the Diabetes Control Program had significantly lower hemoglobin A1C, depressive symptoms, and less perceived stress over that 12 week program.”
She noted, there are not enough specifically trained diabetes experts to keep up with what is an epidemic. The YMCA program is exciting, Dr. Mezuk said, because it is entirely community based. “The battle for winning or losing diabetes is not going to be won in the doctor’s office. We have to include community members in this fight.”