Recognizing hurdles, finding solutions
“The most significant issue has been that our class is in-person once a week and people who are working at our institution have had a lot of changes in their schedules,” Dr. Rea told AMA Wire. “This scheduling issue has been the most significant barrier for our participants to be able to continue in the program.”
To overcome some of these hurdles, Loma Linda University Health’s prediabetes program is offering an opportunity to do extra take-home virtual learning modules to make up for any classes participants might miss. With 20 available classes, participants are allowed a maximum of two missed sessions in a row but must participate in at least 15 classes, five of which can be virtual.
“We put a lot of structure in place, but it is still probably not enough,” said Dr. Rea. “We are looking at trying to create a strong virtual aspect of our program to allow for more flexibility.”
With the prediabetes program initially starting with over 20 participants, it is now down to about 12-13 committed participants who are highly engaged because they didn’t have scheduling issues. Among this group, Dr. Rea states the participants are “very happy with the teamwork, the structure and the commitment.”
Success is in the connection
While the DPP requires a significant commitment from participants, results have shown the success of class implementation and the availability of instructors. When asked about the most successful aspect of the program, Dr. Rea told AMA Wire that one part is the ability to engage multiple entities on campus to synergistically work towards the prevention of diabetes.
When it comes to the actual participants in the program, the connection between instructors and the class is key to maintaining commitment and ensuring the success of the DPP, she added.
“Our instructors and participants have had a great deal of connection with each other and they are helping and supporting each other,” said Dr. Rea. “The success is in creating a support team for those who are really engaged to be able to make long-lasting sustainable changes.”
This strong instructor-participant relationship is the cornerstone for care in the program at LLUH. By creating lasting connections, participants remain dedicated and committed to reversing prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes.
When asked about her hopes for the future of Loma Linda University Health’s diabetes prevention program, Dr. Rea told AMA Wire she hopes “patients will actually have long-term sustainable lifestyle changes that will last and that they will never progress to diabetes. It will actually truly be diabetes prevention and not just slowing it down.”
While the current Loma Linda University Health program is only offered to employees, Dr. Rea states, “We’re starting with our own, but our hope is to expand to other populations.”
Recently, the AMA, CDC and the Ad Council launched a public service announcement ad campaign to urge Americans to take the one-minute prediabetes risk test. The campaign highlights the importance of following up with a physician to learn more about prediabetes.
The AMA offers online CME to expand your knowledge in diabetes management. Explore educational content such as “Prevent Diabetes STAT.”