Sikh Asian Indians are an underserved, minority group demonstrating high rates of diabetes. Community health workers (CHWs) are effective in addressing health disparities by reaching socially and linguistically isolated populations. There are no culturally adapted programs for diabetes prevention among Sikh Asian Indians, thus, this study tests the efficacy of a culturally tailored CHW intervention to improve diabetes prevention-related outcomes among Sikh Asian Indians at risk for diabetes. A quasi-experimental two-arm intervention among Sikh Asian Indian adults at risk for diabetes and living in New York City (n = 160) was conducted in 2013-2014. The treatment group received six monthly CHW group education sessions and ten follow-up phone calls; the control group received the first session. Main outcome categories included weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), physical activity (PA), diet, and health self-efficacy. Positive and significant changes in weight, BMI, and diabetes prevention-related indicators were seen among both study groups. However, only treatment group participants showed significant changes over time for weight, BMI, PA self-efficacy, and health-related self-efficacy. Significant between-group differences were seen in adjusted analyses for weight, BMI, systolic BP, total weekly PA, PA self-efficacy, PA social interaction, portion control, barriers to healthy eating, and health self-efficacy. At 6 months, treatment participants were more likely to lose ≥ 5% and ≥ 7% of their weight compared to control participants (p = .071, and p = .015, respectively). Findings demonstrate that a culturally adapted CHW diabetes prevention program in the Sikh community is efficacious, adding to the growing literature on CHWs’ capacity to address health inequity among underserved populations.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License