New Study Finds Travel Distance Poses Barrier to Participation in Diabetes Intervention Programs for Guyanese Immigrants at Faith-Based Organizations

May 8, 2014
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A new study published in The Diabetes Educator has found that travel distance can pose a significant barrier to participation in diabetes intervention programs for Guyanese immigrants at faith-based organizations (FBOs). The study, conducted in Schenectady, New York, analyzed data from a cross-sectional health interview survey conducted in 2011 and found that the Guyanese participants were more likely to belong to an FBO than non-Guyanese participants (77.8% vs 61.2%), and had significantly shorter mean driving distances to FBOs (1.19 miles vs 2.87 miles).

Additionally, the study found that a higher percentage of the Guyanese participants lived closer to an FBO than to the city’s only diabetes education center (DEC), with 52.2% living closer to an FBO compared to 34.7% living closer to the DEC. These findings suggest that the short driving distance to FBOs may encourage regular utilization of faith-based interventions for the Guyanese population.

The study, titled “Spatial Access to Faith-based Diabetes Intervention for Guyanese Adults in Schenectady, New York,” was conducted by Akiko S. Hosler and Isaac H. Michaels of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health. It was published in the July 2014 issue of The Diabetes Educator.

The study also identified the 4 most popular FBOs (2 Hindu temples and 2 Christian churches) and the DEC as the most collectively accessible locations for the Guyanese population, suggesting that hosting diabetes intervention programs at these locations may be the most effective way to reach and serve this population.

The authors are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of diverse populations through research, education, and community engagement. This study is just one example of their ongoing commitment to addressing health disparities and improving access to care for underserved populations.

Article Citation:

Hosler AS, Michaels IH. Spatial Access to Faith-based Diabetes Intervention for Guyanese Adults in Schenectady, New York. Diabetes Educ. 2014;40(4):526-532.

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