Indigenous people around the globe tend to struggle with poorer health and well-being than their non-indigenous counterparts. One area that this is especially evident is in the epidemic of diabetes in North America's American Indians (AIs) - who evidence higher prevalence rates and concomitant disease-related complications than any other racial/ethnic group. As researchers and AI communities work together to transcend conventional top-down, service-delivery approaches to care, community-based participatory research is beginning to show promise as a way to partner contemporary biomedical knowledge with the lived-experience, wisdom, and customs of Indigenous people. This study describes the Family Education Diabetes Series (FEDS) as an example of such effort, and highlights pilot findings assessing its value and impact across key diabetes-relevant variables. Following 36 intervention participants across baseline, 3-month, and 6-month time periods, data show significant improvements in weight, blood pressure, and metabolic control (A1c). Strengths and limitations of this investigation are presented, along with suggestions about how to further advance and empirically test the work across other Indigenous communities.
- Action research
- American Indians
- Community-based participatory research
- Indigenous people