Lightning Talk

Diabetes Intervention and Self-Care Opportunity (DISCO): Piloting an Interprofessional Community-based Self-management Program

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT
community engagement

Through establishing the Wellness Pavilion (WP), the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) has made a long-term commitment to partner with two historically underserved communities at Community Engagement Centers. The WP aims to make health and wellness services more accessible in Homewood and the surrounding communities through providing interactive educational sessions, services and special events and programming. All services are student-led, faculty-supervised and are offered free of charge. The Diabetes Intervention and Self Care Opportunity (DISCO) is an interprofessional collaboration among students and faculty from SHRS’s programs in Physical Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Counseling, and the School of Pharmacy.

The DISCO program was designed to assist community members in the management of type 2 diabetes including medication management, healthy eating, exercise, stress management and foot care. Sessions were tailored to individual participants’ needs based on intake questionnaires including demographics, lifestyle history, and medication use. Guided by the IPEC Core Competencies, students across academic programs worked collaboratively to develop and implement weekly programming. At least one faculty member was present for each session, at times supervising students from multiple professions.

The DISCO program was conducted in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022. Participants met with the interprofessional student team and faculty supervisor(s) once per week over 4-6 weeks. Five people participated in the program, and three completed the entire program. Pre/post surveys of diabetes knowledge and confidence in managing diabetes showed improvement in several key areas. High levels of participant engagement and overall satisfaction were noted. Challenges to the program included low registration rates and inconsistent attendance. Future directions include more robust recruitment efforts and continued collaboration with the community to address challenges to participation.