Research & Program Areas

Diabetes Self-Management Support in Church-Based Settings

Evidence-based guidelines for diabetes care emphasize the importance of both initial diabetes self-management education and on-going diabetes self-management support (DSMS).  However, effective strategies for maintaining DSMS programs have not been identified, and the service is poorly reimbursed by insurers. African-American patients are at particularly high risk for poor diabetes outcomes, and African-American churches are a potentially effective venue for delivering DSMS.

In this study funded by the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, CMCD affiliated investigator Gretchen Piatt, MPH, PhD, and colleagues are evaluating the effectiveness of three DSMS approaches compared to enhanced usual care within the context of churches. Twenty-one churches in metro-Detroit will be randomized to either DSMS delivered by a Peer Coach, DSMS delivered by the Parish Nurse, or DSMS delivered by a combination of both types of educators. Following DSMS, all participants and churches will transition into a period of on-going support to evaluate if participants, parish nurses, and peer leaders sustain self-management efforts by capitalizing on the church’s infrastructure. The study will provide important information about how best to sustain diabetes self-management support in underserved communities.

For more information contact Dr. Gretchen Piatt at


Community, Diabetes

Return to Research and Program Areas