Background: In Turkish immigrant diabetics, problems
with communication and cultural differences may hinder
delivery of diabetes care.
Methods: In a prospective controlled study, the effect of an ethnic-specific diabetes education programme on glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in Turkish type 2 diabetes patients was assessed, by comparing Turkish diabetics who were offered the education programme with Turkish diabetics offered routine care only (control group).
From 16 general practices (31 GPs) in Rotterdam, 104
Turkish type 2 diabetes patients were recruited, 85 of
whom could be assessed at one-year follow-up. Glycaemic control, lipid concentrations, blood pressure and body mass index were measured.
Results: Compared with the control group, mean hbA<sub>1c</sub> in the intervention group decreased by 0.3% (95% CI -0.8 to 0.2). A significant decrease in hbA<sub>1c</sub> was observed in women with hbA<sub>1c</sub> >7% at baseline (-0.9%; 95% CI -1.73 to -0.09) but not in the other subgroups studied. serum lipid concentrations, blood pressure and body mass index remained unchanged in the intervention group.
Conclusion: Ethnic-specific diabetes education by Turkish
female educators has no obvious beneficial effect on glycaemic control or cardiovascular risk profile. More focus on specific patient selection and gender equality between educators/patients may prove worthwhile.