Journal Articles

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The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care


PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to explore the feasibility of using commonly available technology, such as text messaging, for diabetes prevention in rural Mexican American communities during COVID-19.

METHODS: Participants were selected from a diabetes prevention study funded by the National Institutes of Health that, prior to COVID-19, involved in-person group intervention sessions. Participants were predominantly female adults born in Mexico and Spanish-speaking. A subsample (n = 140) was divided into 3 cohorts: (1) 50 who completed the initial in-person intervention prior to the COVID-19 research pause, (2) 60 who needed additional support sessions to complete the intervention and thus received 10 text messages with links to relevant online diabetes prevention videos (TM+), and (3) 30 who received enhanced usual care involving health guidance offered during data collection (control). Repeated measures analysis of covariance was used to evaluate cohort differences at 24 months post baseline.

RESULTS: No significant cohort differences were found for depression, eating self-efficacy, alcohol intake, fat avoidance, or sedentary behaviors. Differences in A1C showed both in-person and TM+ cohorts having lower mean A1C levels (5.5%) than the control cohort (5.7%). The TM+ cohort had lower body mass index than other cohorts and a lower diabetes conversion rate (22.2%) compared to the control cohort (28%). Participants indicated preferences for in-person/TM+ combination interventions. The strongest positive feedback was for the TM+ intervention cooking demonstration videos.

CONCLUSIONS: Augmented text messaging combined with in-person sessions had similar outcomes to the all in-person strategy and thus has the potential for expanding the reach of diabetes prevention to many Mexican American communities.


Adult, Female, Humans, Male, COVID-19, Diabetes Mellitus, Glycated Hemoglobin, Mexican Americans, Prediabetic State, Text Messaging



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