Spanish-Language Disease Management Improves Outcomes in Latinos, Study Finds
Providing disease management information in Spanish to Latinos with diabetes led to improved patient diets, weight loss, lower bad cholesterol and blood-glucose levels and increased levels of good cholesterol, according to a study by researchers at Loma Linda University, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.
The study, led by assistant professor of nutrition Zaida Cordero-MacIntyre, involved 34 diabetic Latinos, most of whom received care at free or low-cost clinics in the San Bernardino area. At the beginning of the study, many were experiencing complications related to diabetes, such as blurred vision or numbness and tingling in their feet, Cordero-MacIntyre said.
Researchers found that "people will go to a clinic for help, get diagnosed, receive medication" but that "[t]here is no patient education or, if there is, it is in a language they don't understand," Cordero-MacIntyre said.
Patients in the study were given eight hours of culturally sensitive diabetes education in Spanish over several weeks. Researchers then tracked patients' weight, blood-sugar levels, cholesterol levels and behavioral changes over three months.
The study found that among other health benefits, participants were able to stop taking insulin or take fewer medications after receiving diabetes education and changing their diets, according to Cordero-MacIntyre (Wells, San Bernardino County Sun, 12/5).