Patient Preferences Affect Efficacy of Diabetes Care

Patients were surveyed to determine their personal preferences when receiving diabetes education and self-management direction.

Disconnects between medical education programs and cultural and logistical preferences of underserved populations can create barriers in healthcare. Revising these programs to take into account patient preferences can increase their efficacy, according to research presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2017 National Conference, held from June 20 to 25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Emily Kimble, FNP-C, from Clinica Sierra Vista in California, examined deficits in self-knowledge and patient preferences for diabetes education in a Hispanic patient population in central California.

“Various sources attest to the significant barriers to diabetes care that Hispanics face, and the resulting suboptimal outcomes they experience,” Ms. Kimble noted. “While many studies [show] promising improvements in diabetes outcomes following culturally-tailored group education…most of these programs had low response and retention rates. It is unclear whether these programs involved patient input in the design process.”

Ms Kimble examined data from a convenience sample of Hispanic adults with diabetes, recruited from community health center waiting rooms. Participants completed 2 written surveys: the Diabetes Knowledge Questionnaire-24, which is a bilingual tool to gauge diabetics’ basic knowledge, and a 21-question survey, Diabetes Education Preferences in Hispanics Living in the United States. Both questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

The surveys were completed by 94 participants from 2 health centers in central California. Survey results indicated that participants preferred individual visits to group visits and that educational visits were coupled with regular, routine medical check-ups. Lack of literacy was a “major barrier” to diabetes self-management, and most participants preferred to receive “traditional education materials” instead of Internet links. Finally, most participants within this sample felt it was important for their diabetes educator to also be Hispanic.

“The need for improved diabetes self-management education was made abundantly clear,” Ms Kimble wrote, nothing that participants were only able to correctly answer 50% of questions (24 questions total) covering simple diabetes topics.

“Beyond the realm of diabetes self-management, this project highlights the importance of tailoring education efforts to the cultural and logistical preferences of the population served,” concluded Ms Kimble.

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Kimble E. Exploring the preferences and need for diabetes self-management education in Hispanics. Presented at: American Association for Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2017 National Conference; June 20-25, 2017; Philadelphia, PA.