Community Based Early Intervention for the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes: A Case Report of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project
Nield, A and Quarrell, S and Myers, S, Community Based Early Intervention for the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes: A Case Report of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project, Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism, 4, (6) pp. 1-6. ISSN 2155-6156 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2013 Nield A, et al.
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Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic metabolic disorder that is predominately associated with lifestyle changes
including reduced physical activity, poor nutrition and obesity. Despite major medical advances in the treatment of
T2D, its prevalence is still increasing at an alarming rate. Accordingly, better management and prevention strategies
are urgently needed to prevent the development and progression of this disease. In the last decade there have been
considerable efforts to improve public health through alternative research paradigms. Community-Based Participatory
Research (CBPR) is one such process by which researchers form an equal and transparent partnership with the
community with the final goal of creating empowerment and societal change to facilitate action and provide solutions
to promote health and well-being. One CBPR program, the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project
(KSDPP), was initiated to promote increased physical activity and healthier eating habits among school children
based on the Mohawk’s "Living in Balance" philosophy. Utilizing CBPR principles, KSDPP engaged researchers and
the community in all stages of the research processes. This project was community driven from the beginning and
was independent of any external institutional change agent to facilitate community action and the implementation
of strategies to find solutions. Although the project has been instrumental in community empowerment and societal
change, several challenges remain. Accordingly, understanding the unique social, environmental and historical
context that shapes lifestyle and risk factors for T2D in Native populations will help to understand the unique nature
of this disease in these groups.