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Community Health Workers Assisting Patients With Diabetes in Self-management

Hargraves, J. Lee PhD; Ferguson, Warren J. MD; Lemay, Celeste A. RN, MPH; Pernice, Joan MS

Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: January/March 2012 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 15–26
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0b013e31822cbe35
Original Articles

Community health workers (CHWs) have gained prominence in health care, recognizing the influence of community and environment on health. This study evaluates CHWs' efforts to assess patients' readiness to change and facilitate self-management goal setting. Six pairs of community health centers were randomly assigned to employ CHWs on health care teams. Each team worked with a defined population of patients. We assessed changes in documented patient self-management goals and clinical measures from both control and intervention CHCs before and after deploying CHWs, finding a significant increase in self-management goal setting between the intervention and control health centers.

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Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester (Drs Hargraves and Ferguson; Ms Lemay); and Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Boston, Massachusetts (Ms Pernice).

Correspondence: J. Lee Hargraves, PhD, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655 (Lee.Hargraves@umassmed.edu).

Disclosure of funding: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://www.ambulatorycaremanagement.com).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.