Health Equity and the National DPP

 

Health equity is defined as the opportunity to attain one’s highest level of health due to the absence of systemic disparities in health. Advancing health equity requires an examination of disparate access to care delivery, often looking beyond clinical care and into innovative, non-medical related aspects of health care to comprehensively address all factors that determine health. Health equity is often influenced by socially determined factors of health and the accompanying social needs.

There are many excellent resources available on promoting and achieving health equity, many of which are referenced on this page. The purpose of this page is to focus specifically on health equity in the context of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program: how promoting health equity can support the impact of the program, and how the program itself can be used as a tool and a model to promote health equity.

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Understanding what is meant by health equity and related terms is critical to its promotion. Finding consensus around definitions can bridge differences and promote productive dialogue around important issues. This page will define health equity, health disparities, social determinants of health (SDOH), and health-related social needs (HRSN).

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Research shows consistent and significant disparities in diabetes outcomes across populations. Many studies have shown that largely due to SDOH and HRSNs diabetes impacts racial and ethnic minority and low-income adult populations disproportionately as evidenced by a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and higher rates of diabetes related complications and mortality. This page summarizes how SDOH and HRSNs relate to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

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The National DPP lifestyle change program is uniquely positioned to consider the implications of SDOH and address associated HRSNs among program participants. This page will discuss how the National DPP lifestyle change program teaches valuable skills that address HRSNs, as well as opportunities to address HRSNs to support participants’ success in the National DPP lifestyle change program.

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Health equity is defined as the opportunity to attain one’s highest level of health due to the absence of systemic disparities in health, which are influenced by SDOH and HRSNs. This page will discuss how addressing HRSNs through program supports, policy, and contracting levers can support retention and participant outcomes in the National DPP lifestyle change program.

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While the National DPP lifestyle change program focuses on skills that help to address HRSNs, the program can also be connected to larger initiatives that are centered on health equity. This page will describe opportunities to connect the National DPP lifestyle change program to state or national initiatives, addressing health equity through cross-sector partnerships, and HRSN screening tools.

Content Updated: July 29, 2022