Research shows that education classes for people with diabetes are effective. In fact, clinical trials found that participation in structured, group education classes can help people with diabetes improve their diabetes control, lose weight and improve their knowledge of diabetes. However, a common challenge in these education programs is that not enough people sign up for classes and many drop out. One reason is that sometimes class content can be less personal for participants. Researchers from the US/Mexico border published evidence that diabetes education can be effective for Hispanic/Latino adults with type 2 diabetes, as long as participants complete the program. In this study, most participants rated their health as fair or poor. The researchers noted that 20% of participants reported not knowing which type of diabetes they had. Additionally, 70% of participants had not heard of HbA1c and were unaware of its purpose despite having over 3 doctor visits per year. To make the diabetes classes successful, they had sessions in both English and Spanish, they sent out phone reminders to participants, and allowed participants to attend missed sessions in other classes to improve follow-up. It is important that diabetes education for underserved communities is adaptable to best meet the needs of the population they serve.


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