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Using Videos in Pre-Diabetes Management for African-American Church Members in Philadelphia

June 27, 2013

Nicole VaughnDr. Nicole Vaughn (right) was awarded $250,000 from United Health Foundation and Comcast to study the widespread dissemination of an evidence-based group pre-diabetes program among African-Americans in Philadelphia-area churches.

The program called, Getting People in Sync (G.P.S.) has started in two local area churches.

Dr. Vaughn, an assistant professor at the SPH, is Principal Investigator of the study. Co-investigators on this project are Drs. Longjian Liu (below, left) and Marcy Polansky, (below, right) both associate professors at the SPH, and Dr. Deneen Votja from United Healthcare.  Crystal Wyatt, serves as the Drexel Community Research Coordinator for this project and works directly with the churches and participants.

Longjian LiuThere are currently almost 80 million people with pre-diabetes in the U.S. In Philadelphia, diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death. Unfortunately, African Americans are at increased risk for pre-diabetes as well as for developing the disease.

This study builds on Project NOT ME—designed by United Health Group and Comcast as a Diabetes Prevention Project for pre-diabetic individuals in which participants engage in changing their eating and exercise behaviors by watching a novel reality television series and gaining support through web and mobileMarcia Polansky technology for weight loss.  G.P.S. project uses these video assets as well as trains on-site church facilitators as part of the study to determine the effectiveness of social support on weight loss for African Americans recruited from churches in Philadelphia.  In addition, sustainability as well as treatment integrity will be assessed.  Participants will engage in group viewings of the reality video series with a group discussion and group weigh-ins occurring in a church setting.    

A hundred participants will be studied over 12 months at two churches. Weight loss data will be collected at intake, at 16 weeks and at month 12. Study investigators believe that there is large potential impact for this project to add to the understanding of low cost, evidence-based ways to support weight change for African Americans at high risk for pre-diabetes and conversion to diabetes.