The effects of ProjectPower diabetes education program on adult African Americans' diabetes knowledge, empowerment, and readiness to change
The primary purpose of this study was to assess whether a faith-based diabetes education program (ProjectPower) would significantly influence African American's knowledge, readiness to change, and feelings of empowerment about diabetes care. A secondary purpose of this study was to examine the ecological factors that would affect knowledge, readiness to change, and feelings of empowerment about diabetes care. A volunteer convenience sample of 48 church members, family and friends participated in the study. The inclusion criteria were: African American male and females ages 18 years and older that lived in Houston/Harris County, Texas and surrounding areas. Those with or without diabetes participated. The majority of the participants were female (79.2%), and 20.8% were males. Participants were, on average, 60 years of age (M = 60.52, SD = 15.00) and ranged from 18 years to 82 years of age. The study used a pre-test/post-test survey design that included both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Participants were tested both before and after a three-module workshop. Participants were also invited to participate in a one-month follow-up survey. Data analyses included frequencies, ANOVA, and Pearson's Product Moment correlations. Results indicated that the diabetes knowledge test scores were significantly higher at the time of post-test compared with results at the time of pre-test, while neither the readiness-to-change scores nor the diabetes empowerment change scores were significantly different between the pre-test and post-test. There was a significant trend between all the pre-test and post-test scores as participants who had higher scores on the pre-test tended to have higher scores on the post-test.
The results of this study may be used to refine the process that is currently being used by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to implement programs in churches. Although the results of this study cannot be generalized, education does seem to have a significant impact on diabetes knowledge. ProjectPower programs are currently being held year-round; and based on the results of this study ProjectPower modules can increase participants' knowledge when conducted in 45 minutes. Goal-setting components built into the program such as the "commitment cards" could be used to empower participants to change. Finally, additional program planning efforts could include components such as resilience education and support groups based upon available funds and volunteers.