Term of Award

Summer 2003

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Public Health

Committee Chair

Helen Graf

Committee Member 1

Judith McLaughlin

Committee Member 2

Arif Ahmed

Committee Member 3

W. Kent Guion

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a diabetes education intervention strategy on the clinical and biochemical status of patients in the Diabetes Complications Prevention Study (DCPS) at Candler County Hospital in Metter, Georgia. The participants in this study were all active members in the DCPS program. This intervention group was paired to control group members of a similar age and race. A sample size of 18 participants and an equal number of controls was chosen for this evaluative study. The sampling method utilized for participants in the study was non-probability quota sampling. Medical records were used to obtain clinical data that included type of diabetes, sex, race, age, weight, high blood pressure, use of medication (insulin, high blood pressure and glucose pills), diabetes mellitus diet, and whether the patient was hospitalized. The variables glucose, HbAlc, blood pressure, weight recorded in the medical records were included in a Pearson correlation, t-test, one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and multiple regression analysis. The t-tests and one way ANOVA revealed no statistically significant differences in means between the DCPS and control group. Bivariate analysis revealed a significant relationship between the variables average glucose (0.52, p <0.01), HbAlc (0.33, p < 0.01), and insulin medication. Regression was employed to control for factors affecting average glucose, HbAlc and blood pressure, other than the bivariate relationships seen with the t-tests and one way ANOVA. Regression analysis did not support the research statements stating that education on diabetes and its complications had an impact on glucose, HbAlc and blood pressure averages.

Recommendations originating from the study include sustaining the essential, collaborative and integrated team approach to diabetes management. In other words, diabetes educators and other health professionals should continue to emphasize the health benefits of diabetic diet, regular exercise and other aspects of the diabetes care regimen. Additionally, it is important that diabetics assume an active role in their care. Education interventions increase patient involvement which in turn improves compliance. Directing resources to educational programs seems a wise allotment of funds compared to the more costly expense of treating diabetic complications.

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