The Value of Community Health Workers in Diabetes Management in Low-Income Populations: A Qualitative Study

Seq ID: 524
DocID: WA11
Authors: Silverman J, Krieger J, Sayre G, Nelson K
Year: 2018
State: WA
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Evidence Generation: White papers, Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams, Evidence-based interventions
Workforce Development: Chronic Disease

To describe community health workers (CHWs) roles in a diabetes self-management intervention. Retrospective qualitative inductive analysis of open text home visit encounter form from Peer Support for Achieving Independence in Diabetes (Peer AID), a randomized controlled trial in which low-income individuals with poorly controlled diabetes received either CHW home visits or usual care. Following visits, CHWs completed encounter forms documenting the health goal of the visit, the self-management strategies discussed and participant concerns. 634 encounter reports were completed for the 145 intervention participants. CHW notes revealed three main obstacles to optimal disease control: gaps in diabetes knowledge and self-management skills; socioeconomic conditions; and the complexity of the healthcare system. CHWs helped participants overcome these obstacles through extensive, hands-on education, connecting participants to community resources, and assistance navigating the medical system. In addition, the CHWs offered uncomplicated accessibility and availability to their clients. CHWs can be a valuable asset for low-income patients with chronic health conditions who may require more support than what can provided in a typical primary care visit.

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