Population based research studies have suggested that diabetes is a nationwide epidemic, which remains to grow at a fast rate. Diabetes has affected an approximately 25.8 million people worldwide include 8.3% of the United States population. Research studies have further projected that this figure is likely to reach 68 million population by 2030 due to current statistics, which indicate that the prevalence rate is growing (Smith, 2030). The American Diabetes Association (ADA) have identified diabetes education as a critical process during comprehensive care. This is for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus, in which ADA endorses participation in diabetes education with the aim of learning essential skills of self-management and knowledge on an annual basis(Smith, 2030).
The objective of this research study was to embark on the impacts of diabetes education and educational support groups. The focus being dietary modifications in eighteen (18) patients suffering from diabetes, which seek to improve metabolic parameters(Smith, 2030). The research study involved 18 subjects who were identified at the Primary Care Clinics and the Diabetes Center in Pittsburg, New York. The subjects were categorized into three main groups namely; control group who were offered only primary care, the DE group who were offered diabetes teaching and primary care from certified nurse educator, and the last group that joined support group for about two to three sessions(Smith, 2030). The main variation for baseline in HbAIC or hemoglobin AIC, body mass index, weight, systolic blood pressure (SBP), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides (TG-C). These values were usually calculated after every three days of follow up visits(Smith, 2030).
After assessment, it was established that the patients in Diabetes Educational Groups had statistically significance health improvement. In particular, this group’s mean HbAIC indicated p=0.013, which had reduced by 0.78%, LDL-C decreased by a mean change of -11.73 mg/dl and the TC had decreased by a mean change of -16.89 mg/dl from a baseline to the final follow. In addition, the same group displayed a consistent significant decrease in LDL-C and HbAIC all through from the third month towards the 18th (eighteenth) month of follow up(Smith, 2030). Also, observed is that other groups such as the patients receiving primary care coupled with diabetes education indicated a moderate reduction in their SBP, HbAIC, and TG-C as well as in their average weight. In addition, they had a significant increase in their LDL-C, BMI including their HDL-C during their final follow up(Smith, 2030). However, when compared to patients enrolled in educational support groups, these values had not statistically significant.
This current study indicated that participants enrolled in diabetes education may offer support during the process of optimizing metabolic parameters(Smith, 2030). These metabolic parameters include TC, HbAIC and LDL-C levels of subjects suffering from diabetes. Therefore, such benefits have the capability of perpetuating through time. Moreover, the addition of support groups may confer additional benefits or may fail to(Smith, 2030).
The core objectives of diabetes educational programs is to improve patients’ quality of life as well as to reduce the burden brought about the disease. Through Healthy People 2020 program, the United States Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with American Diabetes Association seek to stress three main elements needed for effective disease management. These three main components are self-management education, regular medical care and ongoing diabetes support groups.
Smith, Lewis (2013). What should I eat? A focus for those living with diabetes. Journal of Nursing Education, 1 (4) 111-112.