Diabetes management includes different activities. However, education and support are basic aspects of any treatment plan because the disease requires daily monitoring and control performed by a patient. Such patient-centered measures can successfully address problems related to the development of diabetes. Many studies are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of existing educational programs for diabetes patients. In the article by Bowen et al. (2016), the authors compared “different approaches to nutrition education in diabetes self-management education and support” (p. 1). They analyzed the impact of self-management education programs that were undertaken by 150 adults with diabetes type 2 and compared them to the impact of general health education. The major indicator was the change in HbA1C for over six months.
The results of the study revealed that HbA1C levels “improved within the plate method [−0.83% (−1.29, −0.33), P<0.001] and carbohydrate counting groups [−0.63% (−1.03, −0.18), P=0.04]” (Bowen et al., 2016, p. 1). Some other results were also important. For example, participants who used the modified plate method significantly lost their weight. Also, satisfaction with the intervention improved in all participants. Finally, diabetes self-efficacy became much higher after three months of interventions. The authors concluded that diabetes self-management education and support programs that are promoted, modified plate method and carbohydrate counting were effective for patients with initial HbA1C levels between 7-10 percent (Bowen et al., 2016, p. 2). However, different factors are pertinent to educational programs. One of the most important is culture. Ethnic minorities require special treatment due to cultural differences. It is especially relevant to Hispanics as diabetes rates among them are considerably higher than among other populations. In the study by Ferguson, Swan, and Smaldone (2015), the authors analyzed the effectiveness of diabetes self-management education interventions “delivered in conjunction with primary care among Hispanic adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus” (p. 1). They conducted systematic research using such databases as PubMed and Cochrane Library.
The authors focused on works and randomized controlled trials that studied the outcomes of diabetes self-management programs undertaken by Hispanics with diabetes type 2. These trials reported changes in A1C after delivering interventions. These data allowed us to conduct a meta-analysis. The review included 625 studies and 13 randomized controlled trials, and the meta-analysis included 11 studies (Ferguson et al., 2015). The population sample in trials was comprised of 2784 adult Hispanics. These studies presented different types of interventions such as individual, group, and phone or online consultations. The interventions were also of different intensity. They varied from 1-time “sessions with phone follow-up to contact every 4 to 6 weeks over 5 years” (Ferguson et al., 2015, p. 1). This study proved the effectiveness of most of these programs. After six months of interventions, the average A1C level decreased by 0.25 (Ferguson et al., 2015). Therefore, the authors concluded that diabetes self-management education in conjunction with primary care could be a highly successful approach to improve health outcomes in Hispanic patients with diabetes type 2. However, they emphasized the importance of future comparative research as it would help to develop better delivery methods. These studies provide relevant data that are necessary for the development of educational programs. They prove that this aspect is crucial in preventing serious complications of diabetes. However, educational approaches still need improvement as they cannot address all the existing problems related to diabetes management.
Bowen, M. E., Cavanaugh, K. L., Wolff, K., Davis, D., Gregory, R. P., Shintani, A.,… Rothman, R. L. (2016). The diabetes nutrition education study randomized controlled trial: A comparative effectiveness study of approaches to nutrition in diabetes self-management education. Patient Education and Counseling, 99(8), 1368-1376.
Ferguson, S., Swan, M., & Smaldone, A. (2015). Does diabetes self-management education in conjunction with primary care improve glycemic control in Hispanic patients? A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Diabetes Educator, 41(4), 472-484.