Patient Empowerment: Results of a randomized controlled trial

  1. Catherine C Feste, BS
  1. Educational Development and Evaluation Core, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Clinical Implementation Core, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. Diabetes Outpatient Education Program, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, Michigan
  4. Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, Michigan
  5. Office of Educational Resources & Research, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, Michigan
  6. Humedico, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Robert M. Anderson, EdD, University of Michigan Medical School, Educational Development and Evaluation Core, Gl 111 Towsley Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0201.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in a patient empowerment program would result in improved psychosocial self-efficacy and attitudes toward diabetes, as well as a reduction in blood glucose levels.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This study was conducted as a randomized, wait-listed control group trial. The intervention group received a six-session (one session per week) patient empowerment education program; the control group was assigned to a wait-list. At the end of 6 weeks, the control group completed the six-session empowerment program. Six weeks after the program, both groups provided follow-up data.

RESULTS The intervention group showed gains over the control group on four of the eight self-efficacy subscales and two of the five diabetes attitude subscales. Also, the intervention group showed a significant reduction in glycated hemoglobin levels. Within groups, analysis of data from all program participants showed sustained improvements in all of the self-efficacy areas and two of the five diabetes attitude subscales and a modest improvement in blood glucose levels.

CONCLUSIONS This study indicated that patient empowerment is an effective approach to developing educational interventions for addressing the psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes. Furthermore, patient empowerment is conducive to improving blood glucose control. In an ideal setting, patient education would address equally blood glucose management and the psychosocial challenges of living with diabetes.

  • Received October 24, 1994.
  • Revision received March 2, 1995.
  • Accepted March 2, 1995.
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