Effectiveness of Managing Diabetes During Ramadan Conversation Map intervention: A difference-in-differences (self-comparison) design

Einav Srulovici, Maya Leventer-Roberts, Bradley Curtis, Xuanyao He, Moshe Hoshen, Mina Rotem, Asaf Bachrach, Orna Reges, Calanit Key, Nomy Levin-Iaina, Alena Strizek, Becca Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Some individuals with diabetes fast during Ramadan despite medical concerns for risk of adverse outcomes. The Managing Diabetes During Ramadan Conversation Map is a self-management education group-based intervention for Muslim individuals with type 2 diabetes, specifically addressing diabetes management during Ramadan. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Managing Diabetes During Ramadan Conversation Map intervention in improving short-term clinical outcomes and reducing healthcare utilization following Ramadan. Design: This was a retrospective rolling cohort study. Settings: Participants were Clalit Health Services members with type 2 diabetes who participated in the intervention between 2014 and 2017 across Israel. Participants: This study included 1732 participants who enrolled in the intervention over the five-year study period. The cohort was mainly between the ages of 45 and 74 years (83.3%), female (71.9%), of lower socioeconomic status (92.1%), with a diabetes duration of 10 years or more (51.7%), obese (64.0%), and had never smoked (73.8%). Methods: The data used in this study came from Clalit Health Services’ electronic health records, which are integrated in a central data warehouse. We used a difference-in-differences (self-comparison) design to examine the effect of the intervention on changes in laboratory results and healthcare utilization over a six month baseline and follow-up. Mixed model linear regressions and Poisson regressions were used to estimate continuous and count outcomes, respectively. Results: Post intervention, participants experienced a reduction of 8.61 mg/dL in their glucose levels (p = 0.005) and 0.34% in their HbA1c levels (p < 0.001). In a sub-group analysis of participants with HbA1c > 7%, larger reductions in glucose (17.02 mg/dL [p < 0.001]) and HbA1c (0.63% [p < 0.001]) levels were recorded. This sub-group also experienced a reduction of 4.83 mg/dL in LDL level (p = 0.007) and had 0.2 fewer primary care visits (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Participation in the Managing Diabetes During Ramadan Conversation Map improved patient glucose and HbA1c levels. A greater benefit was reported in those individuals with HbA1c > 7%. These findings hold important global health implications for the millions of individuals with type 2 diabetes for whom Ramadan can pose a challenge in disease control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes conversation map
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Program evaluation
  • Ramadan
  • Self-management
  • Type 2


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