Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Improving Program Retention: 3 Learnings from DPP

Mar 11, 2020

Do you struggle to retain participants in your diabetes education classes? Do you wonder how you’ll keep participants coming back for an intensive, 12-month Diabetes Prevention Program?

If retention is a challenge for you, you’re not alone. But, as you already know, individuals who complete a DSMES, or diabetes prevention program, are most likely to realize the full health benefits of that program through eating healthy, being active, and reducing their risks. Increasing the number of people who complete the program can keep your whole program healthy with full CDC recognition for National DPP providers and robust reimbursement for Medicare DPP and DSMT.

Through our 1705 CDC cooperative agreement, ADCES is supporting 22 National DPP providers in 11 states to activate successful and sustainable diabetes prevention programs. Each provider is working with one or more of our priority populations—African Americans, Latinos, Medicare beneficiaries, or men—to increase their enrollment, engagement, and retention in a yearlong intensive lifestyle change program. Our sites, like our members, are working in rural areas, small towns, and urban neighborhoods across a variety of different healthcare settings. Like you, they’re working with people who struggle with time, transportation, work schedules, family obligations, and competing priorities. 

But, when it comes to retention, they’re ensuring that more and more people with prediabetes complete the program and reduce their risk. Here are the numbers!

  • 1061 — The number of people we enrolled in the lifestyle change program

  • 77% — The percentage who came from one or more of our priority populations

  • 91% — How many attended three hours of content (once a week for three weeks)

  • 74% — How many attended nine hours of content (once a week for nine weeks)

So, what’s worked to keep people with prediabetes engaged for 12 months? Here are the top three:

  • Engaging Community Health Workers as trained lifestyle coaches.

  • Meeting the community where they are at and bringing the program to places they already go like community centers, libraries, faith-based organizations and Zumba class.

  • Making sessions culturally relevant and including examples of foods and activities that are common to the individuals in their community.  

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