Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness costing over $300 billion per year in the United States with an estimated 100 million individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Complications due to diabetes place individuals at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, amputations, blindness, kidney failure, disability, and early death. Education has been shown to be effective in improving health behaviors that decrease complications due to diabetes. Common risk factors for development of diabetes are modifiable behaviors such as sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
A peer-led approach to diabetes education has the potential to overcome multiple barriers to receiving education. Peer-led diabetes education can provide education at low or no cost in communities where individuals feel welcomed and travel is minimized. Diabetes education has the potential to decrease disability, early death, and the economic costs of diabetes.
The purpose of this study was to determine if peer-led sessions on diabetes self-management impacted health behaviors, empowerment, and knowledge of diabetes. Four topic-driven educational sessions were provided for participants in Northeast Arkansas who had either a diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes. Pre and post-questionnaires were used to assess changes in knowledge using the Revised Diabetes Knowledge Test, empowerment using the Diabetes Empowerment Scale - Short Form, and health behaviors.
A statistically significant difference was found in the empowerment scale with an increase in mean scores from 31.23 to 36.04. A paired samples t-test found a statistically significant difference in scores on Diabetes Knowledge Test, (t (25) = –2.54, p < .05). Significant changes in health behaviors were found for knowledge of A1C levels, the frequency of foot exams, and days of exercise per week.
Focus groups following intervention provided qualitative results indicating satisfaction with the peer-led model. In order to implement peer-led education, there is a need to develop improved strategies for recruitment. A peer-led model for diabetes education has potential to provide needed education.
|Commitee:||Guffey, James S., Hall, John, Nichols, Joseph, Nix, Elizabeth|
|School:||Arkansas State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Public Health Education, Nutrition|
|Keywords:||Community, Diabetes, Education, Peer-led|
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