UTHSC Leads Study to Assist African Americans with Uncontrolled Diabetes


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is heading a coalition of primary care providers in the Mid-South in a program to help African-American adults diagnosed with diabetes better manage their disease.

Led by James Bailey, MD, MPH, professor of Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine and director of the Center for Health System Improvement at UTHSC, the MODEL (Management of Diabetes in Everyday Life) program is recruiting African-American men and women over age 18, who have diabetes with high blood sugar levels.

Participants will be part of a research study to compare three approaches that primary care clinics can use to encourage better self-management of diabetes. The study will compare the benefits of health coaching, motivational text messages, or diabetes education material in helping people with diabetes take better care of themselves.

All of these approaches can be adapted to a primary care setting, and would support and enhance clinical care for patients with diabetes, Dr. Bailey said. James Robinson, PsyD, CEO of Methodist South Hospital and co-principal investigator on the project, said this practical research will help show health systems across the country how they can improve care and decrease costs by empowering patients to take better care of their diabetes in partnership with their primary care doctor.

Stanley Dowell, MD, who leads the MODEL Provider Learning Collaborative, said patients in Memphis with uncontrolled diabetes will have a unique opportunity to benefit from some of the latest and most-proven approaches to controlling, or even curing, their diabetes through healthier habits. The study will last one year. Participants must have a cell phone with text messaging capability. They will receive up to $150 for follow-up visits.


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