Purpose: This feasibility study was undertaken to determine if a group of predominantly low-income, low-education, African American women with type 2 diabetes could achieve good compliance and improved health outcomes with a carefully structured health promotion intervention.
Methods: The sample consisted of 30 participants from an urban setting who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but also had multiple chronic conditions (e.g., obesity, hypertension, joint pain, and depression). Participants attended a university-based health promotion program where they completed a 12-week intervention that addressed diet, nutrition, and health behavior. Transportation was provided at no cost to the participants.
Results: Compliance with the 12-week program was 72.5%. Participants made significant improvements in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels, cardiovascular fitness, muscularstrength and endurance, and nutrition knowledge.
Conclusion: African American women with type 2 diabetes residing in difficult living environments (i.e., poverty, high crime, and lack of family support) can achieve good compliance and health outcomes with a structured health promotion program provided that barriers to participation (e.g., transportation, cost, and commitment) are removed prior to and during the intervention.