Hispanics in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by Type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk, prevalence, and outcomes. Fortunately, a relatively modest reduction in body weight can significantly reduce the risk of developing T2D which has been demonstrated by the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). However, there remains a gap. Rural Hispanic adults experience even worse diabetes-related health disparities and are less likely to have access to diabetes self-management and support programs compared to their counterparts living in metropolitan counties.
STEPS is the first mHealth diabetes prevention program that simultaneously tailors the DPP for two priority populations: Hispanics and those living in rural communities. This evidence-based and theory driven intervention provides rural Hispanics with the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy to improve health behaviors and reduce diabetes risk. Users can explore content on healthy eating and physical activity through an array of videos, easy to understand diagrams, and simple navigation features. Users also have access to mobile tools including a ‘Connect’ tool aimed at providing social support among users within the program and a steps tracker tool. Additionally, STEPS users can receive health text messages to their phones and can access to a live program coach for additional assistance and motivation.