Open Access Study protocol

Methodology of a diabetes prevention translational research project utilizing a community-academic partnership for implementation in an underserved Latino community

Philip A Merriam1*, Trinidad L Tellez2, Milagros C Rosal1, Barbara C Olendzki1, Yunsheng Ma1, Sherry L Pagoto1 and Ira S Ockene3

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA

2 Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Lawrence, MA and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA

3 Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Research Methodology 2009, 9:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2288-9-20

Published: 13 March 2009



Latinos comprise the largest racial/ethnic group in the United States and have 2–3 times the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus as Caucasians.

Methods and design

The Lawrence Latino Diabetes Prevention Project (LLDPP) is a community-based translational research study which aims to reduce the risk of diabetes among Latinos who have a ≥ 30% probability of developing diabetes in the next 7.5 years per a predictive equation. The project was conducted in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a predominantly Caribbean-origin urban Latino community. Individuals were identified primarily from a community health center's patient panel, screened for study eligibility, randomized to either a usual care or a lifestyle intervention condition, and followed for one year. Like the efficacious Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the LLDPP intervention targeted weight loss through dietary change and increased physical activity. However, unlike the DPP, the LLDPP intervention was less intensive, tailored to literacy needs and cultural preferences, and delivered in Spanish. The group format of the intervention (13 group sessions over 1 year) was complemented by 3 individual home visits and was implemented by individuals from the community with training and supervision by a clinical research nutritionist and a behavioral psychologist. Study measures included demographics, Stern predictive equation components (age, gender, ethnicity, fasting glucose, systolic blood pressure, HDL-cholesterol, body mass index, and family history of diabetes), glycosylated hemoglobin, dietary intake, physical activity, depressive symptoms, social support, quality of life, and medication use. Body weight was measured at baseline, 6-months, and one-year; all other measures were assessed at baseline and one-year. All surveys were orally administered in Spanish.


A community-academic partnership enabled the successful recruitment, intervention, and assessment of Latinos at risk of diabetes with a one-year study retention rate of 93%.

Trial registration