Harvest health: Translation of the chronic disease self-management program for older African Americans in a senior setting

Laura N. Gitlin, Nancy L. Chernett, Lynn Fields Harris, Delores Palmer, Paul Hopkins, Marie P. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We describe the translation of K. R. Lorig and colleagues' Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) for delivery in a senior center and evaluate pre-post benefits for African American participants. Design and Methods: Modifications to the CDSMP included a name change; an additional introductory session; and course augmentations involving culturally relevant foods, stress reduction techniques, and communicating with racially/ethnically diverse physicians. We recruited participants from senior center members, area churches, and word of mouth. We conducted baseline and 4-month post-interviews. Results: A total of 569 African American elders attended an introductory session, with 519 (91%) enrolling in the 6-session program. Of the 519, 444 (86%) completed ≥4 sessions and 414 (79%) completed pre-post interviews. We found small but statistically significant improvements for exercise (p = .001), use of cognitive management strategies (p = .001), energy/fatigue (p = .001), self-efficacy (p = .001), health distress (p = .001), and illness intrusiveness in different life domains (probabilities from .001-.021). We found no changes for health utilization. Outcomes did not differ by gender, number of sessions attended, number and type of chronic conditions, facilitator, leader, or recruitment site. Implications: The CDSMP can be translated for delivery by trained senior center personnel to African American elders. Participant benefits compare favorably to original trial outcomes. The translated program is replicable and may help to address health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-705
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic illness
  • Community participation
  • Disease management
  • Evidence-based
  • Program sustainability
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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