An estimated 34 million Americans have diabetes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
PCORI has funded 44 comparative clinical effectiveness research studies that aim to help patients and those who care for them make better-informed decisions about their treatment and prevention options for diabetes. (As of February 2022)
'You Have to Meet People Where They Are to Help Them': Patient Advisors Guide Successful Diabetes Self-Management Study
An estimated 13 percent of 13 percent of African-American adults in the United States have diabetes and making changes to daily routines and diets to manage this health condition can be hard.
The PCORI-funded Management of Diabetes in Everyday Life (MODEL) Study compared common interventions, such as working with health coaches or getting encouraging text messages from doctors’ offices, that might help patients make healthy choices. The study was guided by patient advisors to help people living with diabetes improve their blood sugar control.
Evidence for Decisions from PCORI-Funded Studies
Evidence Update: Daily Blood Sugar Tests May Not Be Beneficial for Some Patients
For people with type 2 diabetes, maintaining their blood sugar at a healthy level is important. But checking their blood sugar every day may not help them manage the condition. This PCORI-funded study found people with type 2 diabetes who don’t use insulin did not benefit from daily self-testing. Study participants who checked their blood sugar each day for a year had the same A1c and quality of life as people who didn’t test daily.
An Evidence Update is available that can help clinicians and patients work together to make informed decisions regarding patient care.
Evidence Updates: Comparing Two Types of Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery can help people with obesity lose weight and improve problems related to obesity, like diabetes. But surgery can also cause harm, and outcomes may vary across different procedures. A PCORI-funded study compared the benefits and harms of the two most common types of bariatric surgery: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, or gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy, or sleeve surgery.
A pair of Evidence Updates is available that can help clinicians and patients work together to make informed decisions regarding patient care.
Study Results that Support Better-Informed Decisions
Tailoring Diabetes Education To Meet Cultural Needs
Type 2 diabetes has become a well-known part of daily life for the Marshallese community. In Northwest Arkansas, health screenings found 38.4 percent of Marshallese people with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels indicating diabetes. Read about a PCORI-funded study, which found that Marshallese adults in a culturally adapted diabetes education program experienced significantly greater reductions in hemoglobin A1c after one year in the program, compared with adults in a standard program.
Community Coaches Help Native Americans Manage Diabetes
Native Americans have the highest rate of diabetes of all US racial and ethnic groups. In response, this Massachusetts-based study trained laypeople known as community health representatives to coach and help coordinate care for people in their own Navajo communities. As reported in International Journal for Equity in Health, compared to those not in the program, people in it lowered blood sugar and cholesterol levels at a greater level, and they also were more likely to make and keep appointments with doctors and other health providers.
Diabetes Study Spotlights
Tailoring Study Results to an Individual Patient
A PCORI-funded project led by David Kent, MD, MS, of Tufts Medical Center, shows that data from large clinical studies can provide not just the average effect of a treatment, as most studies now do, but indicate which patients are likely to benefit—or not. Kent’s team is now working with the American Medical Group Association to spread the risk model to 50 clinics in two major health systems.
A Focus on Data to Improve Navajo Health
Native Americans have disproportionately high rates of diabetes. Two PCORI-funded studies are searching for answers in the Navajo Nation and its health data. Challenges abound—including far-flung geography, low health resources, and language barriers—but together, Navajo researchers and community health workers are meeting them.
Strategies to Improve Healthy Behaviors among Medicaid Recipients with Diabetes
This project evaluates whether utilizing a system of text message reminders alone, support from a community health worker alone, or a strategy that employs both, is most successful in improving healthy behaviors among Medicaid recipients with diabetes.