Differential Effect of Diabetes Education on Self-Regulation and Life-Style Behaviors
Objective To examine the effect of diabetes education on self-regulation and life-style behaviors.
Research Design and Methods Participants in an outpatient diabetes education program completed a protocol measuring several self-care behaviors and glycemic control at entry (n = 165) and 6 (n = 124) and 12 (n = 89) mo after the program.
Results Improvement was noted at 6 mo for most self-care behaviors and glycemic control. At 12 mo, lower glycosylated hemoglobin levels were maintained (P < 0.001) without increases in perceived hypoglycemia. Improvement was not maintained for those self-care behaviors that require change in life-style, i.e., diet and exercise. However, self-care behaviors that allow patients to self-regulate their glycemic control—self-monitoring of blood glucose and insulin dose self-adjustment—were improved at 12 mo over preprogram levels (P < 0.001). Frequency of insulin self-adjustment continued to increase during the period between follow-ups.
Conclusions The findings suggest that diabetes education is effective in promoting self-regulation behaviors, although it has less effect on traditional regimen behaviors such as diet and exercise.
- Received March 15, 1990.
- Accepted December 10, 1990.
- Copyright © 1991 by the American Diabetes Association