Beth Israel Medical Center Uses AHRQ’s Videonovela to Help Educate Hispanic Patients About Diabetes

Comparative Effectiveness
August 2013

The Latino outreach program of the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute (FDI) at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York uses the videonovela "Aprende a Vivir (Learn to Live)," AHRQ's three-episode Spanish-language video series, to help educate Hispanic patients about type 2 diabetes management. FDI was established in 2007 in response to a growing diabetes epidemic and supports diabetes research, in addition to offering high-quality comprehensive diabetes care and management.

Maria Pajares, RN, Diabetes Educator at FDI, says, "Patients are more receptive to receiving further education about diabetes after watching the AHRQ videonovela. For us, it is extremely important that patients learn to manage their diabetes, control their glucose levels, and achieve their A1c goal levels. I usually open my classes with the videonovela and then provide education based on our curriculum. Each patient gets a copy of the videonovela kit with printed materials after completing the class." The number of Hispanic patients has increased by almost 50 percent since 2011. Pajares is the only educator providing classes in Spanish; she sees an average of 40 Spanish-speaking patients per week.

A 2007–2009 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, after adjusting for population age differences, more than one out of every eight Hispanic adults in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes. In New York City, nearly one in 10 adults has diabetes, and the disease is the fifth most common cause of death.

Marina Krymskaya, NP, CDE, Assistant Director of the diabetes management program at FDI, says, "The Institute's Latino program has an outreach component established in 2007 and works closely with the city's Hispanic community. We make a great effort to understand Hispanics' cultural traits and needs and seek ways to provide opportunities to help educate them about diabetes management, preventive care, and living a healthier life. We also partner with a number of community organizations outside the center and provide lectures and diabetes education programs."

Hispanic patients at FDI participate in individual or group educational programs that are based on the American Diabetes Association's curriculum. The programs cover important topics such as blood glucose monitoring, nutrition, medication, insulin pump training, and prevention of acute and chronic complications.

Pajares says, "Our results show that A1c levels have improved in almost 75 percent of patients. The videonovela complements our curriculum and materials very well."

Table 1. Patient A1c Levels From December 2012 to March 2013*

Patient Sex by Age 30–45 46–55 56–65 66–75 76–85
Male Patients (n=52)
Decreased A1c level after 12/12: 75%
Increased A1c level after 12/12: 25%
6 13 16 14 3
Patient Sex by Age 25–45 46–55 56–65 66–75 76–85
Female Patients (n=125)
Decreased A1c level after 12/12: 75.2%
Increased A1c level after 12/12: 16%
Unchanged A1c level after 12/12: 8.8%
7 26 44 30 17

* Total patients (177)/total appointments (387); some patients were seen two to three times.

FDI serves over 250 Hispanic patients annually and is staffed with two nurses (one RN and one NP), two dietitians, one exercise instructor, and one social worker. Most patients are referred from the Beth Israel Medical Center and have insurance.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Effective Health Care Program
Topics(s): Health Literacy, Hispanic Health, Diabetes
Geographic Location: New York
Implementer: Beth Israel Medical Center
Date: 08/22/2013

Aprende a Vivir. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Page last reviewed August 2013