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Developing community health worker diabetes training

by W J Ferguson, C A Lemay, J L Hargraves, T Gorodetsky, J Calista
Health Educ Res ()

Abstract

We designed, implemented and evaluated a 48-hour training program for community health workers (CHWs) deployed to diabetes care teams in community health centers (CHCs). The curriculum included core knowledge/skills with diabetes content to assist CHWs in developing patient self-management goals. Our qualitative evaluation included pre/post-knowledge outcomes and encounter data from the field. CHWs and their supervisors were interviewed providing qualitative outcome data of the training process and program implementation. There were statistically significant increases in the scores of CHWs' self-reported knowledge in 8 of 15 curricular domains. Qualitative analysis revealed that CHWs preferred skill-based and case-based teaching, shorter training days but more contact hours. CHWs reported that pre-deployment training alone is insufficient for successful integration into care teams. CHW supervisors reported that CHC's readiness to accept CHWs as members of the care team was as important to successful deployment as training. With respect to implementation, supervision by social workers was deemed more successful than nursing supervision. Field data showed that patient encounters lasted less than 30 min and self-management goals focused on appointment keeping, diet, exercise and glucose testing. Integration and analysis of qualitative and descriptive field data provide an opportunity to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of implementation.

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