“Buddy System” of Peer Mentors May Help Control Diabetes

Issue Brief

“Buddy System” of Peer Mentors May Help Control Diabetes

Judith A. Long

Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent and severe among African Americans. Even within the Veterans Health Administration, which is thought to have minimized barriers in access to care, racial disparities in glucose control and outcomes persist. This Issue Brief summarizes work testing two novel interventions—one-on-one peer mentoring (a “buddy system”) and financial incentives—designed to help patients with consistently poor diabetes control achieve better results. In this case, a telephone buddy makes a big difference.