Impact of Social Determinants in the Effectiveness of the Diabetes Prevention Program Under COVID-19 Pandemic


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The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) aims to slow and possibly prevent the transition of 88 million Americans diagnosed with prediabetes to Type II diabetes mellitus. Even with a successful roll out of this program by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a standardized program with a structured curriculum, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted existing health and social disparities that threaten the sustainability of its success. This study evaluates the impact of social determinants of health on the effectiveness of the DPP under the Covid-19 pandemic. Results from this will be used to enhance awareness of social barriers that can affect program enrollment, retention rates, compliance and hence outcomes. The study will be carried out through an initial assessment of the awareness of program facilitators and providers of existing social barriers and available resources for DPP patients. This will be followed by an assessment of adaptations made to accommodate these identified barriers pre Covid-19 and during the pandemic. Methods used include analysis of existing DPP data and surveys/questionnaires given to health care providers, facilitators as well as the patients. Study results show that in implementing the DPP, providers and facilitators were generally aware of social challenges presented by their participants and used available resources provided by their institutions to address some of these. The pandemic inadvertently helped with some of the challenges as programs became virtual, but on the other hand, it also highlighted further disparities that can still endanger the program. In conclusion, given the dramatic changes emerging in the healthcare landscape as a result of the pandemic, addressing social determinants and health disparities is imperative to the future success of a health initiative like the DPP.



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