A research team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has been approved for nearly $2.1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study how to improve diabetes self-management in the Marshallese community of Northwest Arkansas.
The study will focus on bridging the gap between knowledge of effective diabetes self-management education and actual implementation of that knowledge among the Pacific Islander community that has a rate of diabetes that is 400% higher than the general U.S. population.
The study is being conducted in partnership with the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese and the Gaps in Services to the Marshallese Task Force.
Northwest Arkansas is home to the largest Marshallese population in the U.S., which experiences a significant and disproportionate burden of type 2 diabetes and as well as health disparities. The rate of occurrence among the Marshallese is one of the highest of any population group in the world.
“We hope to work closely with the Marshallese families to prevent, delay or moderate the complications of type 2 diabetes and thereby improve the health of this at-risk group,” said UAMS Northwest Vice Chancellor Dr. Peter Kohler, who will lead the research project.
Prior attempts to implement diabetes self-management education in Marshallese populations have failed to produce even short-term results, UAMS researchers said. This study will implement a family model of intervention and evaluate its effectiveness compared to traditional methods.