The Social Component of Diabetes Health Disparities: New Directions in Analyses and Interventions Through Social Networks and Structures
Extensive Diabetes Health Disparities (DHD) exist in the prevalence, control, and rates of complications of type one and type two diabetes. One important and promising direction for tackling this challenge is to engage people living with diabetes, their families and communities, and other components in their social networks in and beyond clinical settings. Such approaches may recruit social networks and structures to be both forces for and recipients of change, such as educating a family about how to address its own shared risk factors. These approaches also will benefit from methods new to diabetes, such as Social Network Analysis (SNA), which focuses on the role of the structure and characteristics of social relationships in behavioral outcomes. Most relevant, SNA has improved our understanding of how information, behaviors, and technologies spread through social relationships. Interventions focusing on social networks and structures, guided by such methods as SNA, may improve the development, dissemination, implementation, sustainment, and evaluation of health behavior interventions, including interventions to prevent or treat obesity and diabetes. These approaches have great potential in addressing diabetes-related health disparities.
Presently, the application of SNA in diabetes is extremely limited, and interventions focused on recruiting social structures and networks as forces for change have not been explored widely. To advance this field of knowledge, the overarching questions of this workshop include: How can SNA improve our understanding of the roles social relationships have in the prevention and treatment of DHD? How can interventions focused on social networks and structures accelerate efforts to reduce or eliminate DHD? To answer these questions, this workshop will bring together multidisciplinary scientists with diverse expertise relevant to SNA, interventions focused on social structures and networks, and DHD. The workshop will explore critically the state of the science and key research gaps, deliver promising and actionable directions in reducing DHD, and promote health equity by leveraging SNA and the networks and structures it analyzes.
- How can SNA improve our understanding of the roles that social relationships have in the prevention and treatment of DHD?
- How can interventions focused on social networks and structures accelerate efforts to reduce or eliminate DHD?
Edwin Fisher, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sula Hood, Ph.D., M.P.H., RTI International
Ann McCranie, Ph.D., Indiana University
Elizabeth Tung, M.D., The University of Chicago
Beena Akolkar, Ph.D., NIDDK
Miranda Broadney, M.D., M.P.H., NIDDK
Xujing Wang, Ph.D., NIDDK
Kenneth Wilkins, Ph.D., NIDDK
Susan Yanovski, M.D., NIDDK
May 15, 2022