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Using a cross-contextual reciprocal learning approach in a multisite implementation research project to improve self-management for type 2 diabetes
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  • Published on:
    Reciprocal learning across borders and disease programmes
    • Daniel J Ward, Student Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

    The report on the reciprocal learning approach used for the Self-Management and Reciprocal learning for the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes (SMART2D) project is a valuable example of how interventions, specifically those improving the strength and equity of health systems, can be improved through partnerships across borders (1). The project emphasises the need to adapt interventions to local contexts, and share this learning among researchers and health workers. This report also alludes to the challenges that can stem from cultural and power differences both between researcher and participants, and between collaborating researchers. This indicates the importance of shared leadership and decision-making, as well as shared learning, throughout the process of intervention design.

    The groundwork of the SMART2D project included a literature review of the role of community health workers (CHWs), and this has provided an insightful compass for future research (2). The vast majority of studies evaluating the role of the CHWs have been conducted in the US. CWHs in the US perform diverse tasks going beyond patient education and medication adherence, including connecting patients to community resources such as exercise groups, and advocating for them in a complex medical system. Despite patients' frequent contact with primary care, this system often fails to provide them with adequate understanding of their condition (3). Diabetes management in high-income co...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.