Improving Diabetes Self-Management in Minorities


To examine whether pairing diabetes patients with certified and specially trained medical assistants (medical assistant coaches) to support and educate them about managing their condition improves their diabetes self-care and overall health.


To be able to impact the growing population of people with diabetes, especially underserved populations, we need to identify innovative ways to deliver interventions designed to facilitate optimal diabetes self-management, as well as address secondary and tertiary prevention. One innovative approach to increasing our reach and impact is to train nonprofessionals or paraprofessionals to work with multidiciplinary diabetes care teams to support optimal diabetes self-management with minimal added expense. The purpose of this study is to develop, implement, and evaluate the impact of an innovative intervention that combines behavior theory guided diabetes self-management education, training, and support with aspects of case management delivered by medical assistant coaches (MACs), to support optimal diabetes self-management (and secondary and tertiary prevention) in low-income minority populations with type 2 diabetes. This is a randomized clinical trial that compares the innovative medical assistant self-management coach (MAC) Intervention with "treatment as usual" (TAU). The target populations form a total sample of 914 African Americans and Latinos receiving care at five federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) seving low-income individuals in Chicago.

Affiliated Center/Program

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Institute of Nursing Research (Grant No. 5RO1NR010313)

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End date
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About this grant

A supplemental grant supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of the recruitment plan for this study.

Related publications

See publications supported by this grant on this PubMed list

Ruggiero L, Riley BB, Hernandez R, Quinn LT, Gerber BS, Castillo A, Day J, Ingram D, Wang Y, Butler P. Medical assistant coaching to support diabetes self-care among low-income racial/ethnic minority populations: randomized controlled trial. West J Nurs Res. 2014 Oct;36(9):1052-73. [See abstract.]

Hernandez R, Ruggiero L, Riley BB, Wang Y, Chavez N, Quinn LT, Gerber BS, Choi YK. Correlates of self-care in low-income African American and Latino patients with diabetes. Health Psychol. 2014 Jul;33(7):597-607. [See abstract.]

Watkins YJ, Quinn LT, Ruggiero L, Quinn MT, Choi YK. Spiritual and religious beliefs and practices and social support's relationship to diabetes self-care activities in African Americans. Diabetes Educ. 2013 Mar-Apr;39(2):231-9. [See abstract.]

Ruggiero L, Moadsiri A, Butler P, Oros SM, Berbaum ML, Whitman S, Cintron D. Supporting diabetes self-care in underserved populations: a randomized pilot study using medical assistant coaches. Diabetes Educ. 2010 Jan-Feb;36(1):127-31. [See abstract.]


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