University of Kentucky joins local organizations to host diabetic research study

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Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 3:20 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - The University of Kentucky is teaming up with local churches and organizations to enroll participants in a diabetic research study.

The participants will do coaching sessions to learn about diabetes self-management. The research will test to see whether one-on-one coaching or group classes serve people best.

UK researchers noticed a troubling trend in Eastern Kentucky in recent years. People are suffering worse health outcomes related to Type 2 diabetes than in other parts of the state.

Faith Moves Mountains has been doing UK research work for about 15 years in Eastern Kentucky.

”It allows us local folks to come in and actually work to help our own people,” said Nell Fields, an interviewer with Faith Moves Mountains. “And that’s what the powerful thing about it is. We’re all in this together, we’re all working to improve our health and the health and welfare of other people in our community.”

The latest research project is looking at how to educate Type 2 diabetes patients on self-management techniques. Phase one of the project considered group classes. Phase 2, which began recruiting participants on Thursday, will look at the effectiveness of one-on-one coaching.

”Many of the complications of type 2 diabetes can be reduced with self-management and proper care and those are the things we’re trying to work with,” said Jennifer Malan, the Project Manager from Faith Moves Mountains.

Organizers said self-management treatments are important coming out of the pandemic because people have not been keeping up with their appointments.

”I have noticed that many of them are not going to their doctor appointments as often,” said Malan. “Some of them are still doing telehealth calls and hopefully they’re still going in getting their lab work done.”

The project is in the recruitment phase and may not yield result for several months.

The UK College of Nursing is also looking for study participants in Eastern Kentucky. People are needed for a clinical trial comparing two types of cognitive behavior therapy for cardiac patients.

Researchers said they hope the study can reveal if cognitive behavioral therapy will help people in rural areas improve cardiac-related health outcomes.

”It’s important out here because we’re wanting to see if there’s a correlation with mental health with having these cardiac events and what care we can provide to patients,” said Margie Duff, the Research Assistant Senior at UK College of Nursing.

Participants living in rural parts of Kentucky with a history of cardiac problems or surgeries are being recruited.

To learn more, you may contact Chin Yen Lin, PhD, RN, at (859) 323-5068 or toll free at 800-896-8066. You may also reach out with an email to

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