Health literacy enhanced intervention for inner-city African Americans with uncontrolled diabetes: A pilot study

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Background: Disparities in diagnosis and control of type 2 diabetes mellitus are most evident in African Americans (AAs) with lower socioeconomic status. Health literacy is an important predictor of adequate self-management and control of diabetes. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a health literacy-enhanced diabetes intervention, PLAN 4 Success (Prevention through Lifestyle intervention And Numeracy) -Diabetes, in inner-city, low-income AAs with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Methods: Nineteen of 30 participants who completed the baseline survey received the study intervention which consisted of 4-week health literacy training and disease knowledge education followed by two home visits and monthly phone counseling for over 24 weeks. Results: A retention rate of 58% was achieved at 24 weeks. All participants who completed the follow-up assessment at 24 weeks reported high satisfaction with the intervention. Participation in the PLAN 4 Success-Diabetes was associated with improved glucose control and psychological outcomes at 12 weeks but the positive trend was attenuated at 24 weeks. Conclusions: The current intervention protocols were in general feasible and highly acceptable. The results support health literacy training as a promising component of interventions to promote glucose control among inner-city AAs. Some changes are suggested to optimize the protocols, before conducting a randomized controlled trial. Future interventions should consider addressing social determinants of health such as transportation as part of designing an intervention targeting low-income AAs with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Trial registration:, NCT03925948. Registered on 24 April 2019-retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number99
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2019


  • African American
  • Glucose control
  • Numeracy
  • Self-management
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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