Designing church-based programs to improve diabetes care among Mexican-Americans has the potential to have a broad impact and to decrease the health disparities. Dr. Arshiya Baig and her research team have led a project that is based in South Lawndale/Little Village, a Mexican-American neighborhood of Chicago. Little Village is a predominantly Mexican-American community that has a diabetes-related mortality rate higher than the national average and higher than the average across Chicago. Since the church has an important role in many Latino cultures and families, working with churches to address diabetes is one method of tailoring diabetes programs to this community. Many church-based programs have shown promise in improving health outcomes among minority communities, but data on church-based programs for Latino populations are scarce.
Picture Good Health is a bilingual church-based diabetes program. The program has eight weekly educational sessions that are held at one of the partner churches. The curriculum uses an innovative technique called “photovoice” where participants receive disposable digital cameras to document their lives with diabetes. These photos are then used in the class to guide a discussion on problem solving and provide training in self-empowerment.
Dr. Baig’s paper, ‘Using Photovoice to Promote Diabetes Self-Management in Latino Patients’, has been accepted for publication in Translational Behavioral Medicine. Photographs from the Photovoice project can be found here.