The Reach of an Urban Hospital System-Based Diabetes Prevention Program: Patient Engagement and Weight Loss Characteristics

Earle C. Chambers, Jeffrey S. Gonzalez, Melinda E. Marquez, Amanda Parsons, Colin D. Rehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify patient and program delivery characteristics associated with engagement and weight loss in a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) implemented in an urban hospital system. Methods: Patient and program delivery data were collected between July 2015 and December 2017. DPP eligibility was determined based on age, body mass index (BMI), and hemoglobin A1C data via the electronic health record. Engagement was measured at 3 levels: ≤3 sessions, 4 to 8 sessions, and ≥9 sessions. Weight was measured at each DPP session. Results: Among the eligible patients (N = 31 524), referrals and engagement were lower in men than women, in Spanish speakers than English speakers, in younger (18-34 years) and middle-aged (35-54 years) than older adults, and in patients receiving Medicaid than other patients. Referral and engagement were higher in patients with higher BMIs and those prescribed ≥5 medications. Current smokers were less frequently engaged. Prior health care provider contact was associated with higher engagement. Overall, 28% of DPP participants achieved ≥5% weight loss; younger and middle-aged patients and those who gained weight in the prior 2 years were less likely to lose weight. Conclusion: This assessment identified characteristics of patients with lower levels of referral and engagement. The DPP staff may need to increase outreach to address barriers to referral and during all points of engagement among men, younger patients, and Spanish speakers. Future research is needed to increase understanding with regard to why referrals and engagement are lower among these groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-628
Number of pages13
JournalDiabetes Educator
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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