Translating Diabetes Evidence into a Targeted Culturally Sensitive Toolkit

Tuesday, 14 July 2009: 3:45 PM

Sharon A. Denham, DSN, RN
School of Nursing, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Learning Objective 1: n/a

Learning Objective 2: n/a


This presentation describes how research evidence about diabetes in the Appalachian region of the United States, literature reviews, and care standards were used to develop a culturally sensitive toolkit. Moving from research evidence to knowledge used by practitioners that impacts personal lifestyles and diabetes is fraught with concerns. Time lapses occur between when knowledge is created and adopted into clinical practice. Problems related to cultural sensitivity and low health literacy are compelling reasons for these gaps. Type 2 diabetes is viewed worldwide to be of epidemic proportions. Appalachia, a region that parallels the Appalachian Mountains reaching from New York to Mississippi, covers more than 200,000 square miles to include 420 counties or parts of 12 states and the whole of West Virginia. Regional residents have long experienced social, economic, and health disparities similar to what is found in other national minority groups. Diabetes and obesity rates similar to those of the nation’s minority groups are being recognized as place-based disparities, but a lack of culturally sensitive materials exist to address diabetes prevention and self-management.


Diabetes is linked with family history and lifestyle behaviors. Diabetes management largely occurs outside the sight of health professionals. Most acknowledge that access to diabetes experts and diabetes education are keys in the translation process, but some communities lack professionals and have limited capacity. This presentation will describe ways an interdisciplinary effort used evidence and theory to develop the Diabetes: A Family Matter program.


Using national diabetes standards, evidence-based knowledge, and cultural understandings a targeted toolkit of materials has been crafted that can be used in rural Appalachian communities to address diabetes prevention and self-management. The community toolkit contains a film, three plays, two fotonovellas, brochures, posters, two manuals, media campaign materials, and web-based availability.


Plans for rural dissemination will be described and outcomes shared.