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Peer-Supported Diabetes Prevention Program for Turkish- and Arabic-Speaking Communities in Australia

ISRN Family Medicine
Publication Date
  • Design
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine


In Australia, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are more prevalent in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities than mainstream Australians. Purpose. To develop, implement, and evaluate culturally sensitive peer-supported diabetes education program for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in high-risk middle-aged Turkish- and Arabic-speaking people. Methods. A two-day training program was developed. Ten bilingual peer leaders were recruited from existing health and social networks in Melbourne and were trained by diabetes educators. Each leader recruited 10 high-risk people for developing diabetes. Questionnaires were administered, and height, weight, and waist circumference were measured at baseline and three months after the intervention. The intervention comprised two 2-hour group sessions and 30 minutes reinforcement and support telephone calls. Results. 94 individuals (73% women) completed the program. Three months after the program, the participants’ mean body weight (before = 78.1 kg, after = 77.3; score = −3.415, ) and waist circumference (  = −2.569, ) were reduced, their diabetes knowledge was enhanced, and lifestyle behaviours were significantly improved. Conclusions. A short diabetes prevention program delivered by bilingual peers was associated with improved diabetes awareness, changed lifestyle behaviour, and reduction in body weight 3 months after intervention. The findings are encouraging and should stimulate a larger control-designed study.

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