The Effectiveness of a Standardized Diabetes Education Program on Blood Glucose and Glycosolated Hemoglobin A1C Levels
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This study evaluated the effectiveness of a standardized diabetes education program in a rural primary care office on blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels. English speaking, non-pregnant adults with diabetes, able to perform self-care activities were used for the study. All individuals (n = 125) with diabetes who met the criteria, from a rural general internal medicine office were invited to participate in the study. The sample size was 19. The six month repeated measures study provided subjects with five 60 minute educational sessions. The sessions were conducted in the physician's office using an office nurse as instructor. The education program, Managing Your Diabetes, was designed and produced by Eli Lilly & Company (1994) for use in the office setting. Subjects were given a pre and post-test to determine level of knowledge before and after the education intervention. Fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels were drawn prior to the education intervention and at three and six months. The sessions were billed to Medicare and other insurance companies per Medicare guidelines. Reimbursement was approximately $80.00 per session, and other insurance reimbursement was approximately $105.00 per session. At the conclusion of the study, blood glucose levels and Hgb A1C levels were compared and analyzed. The results showed that for those individua.ls with Hgb A1C levels greater than 7.0oAJ there was a statistically significant improvement (p =.032) in their glycemic control. Mean fasting blood glucose levels decreased from 188.89 mg/dl to 140.84 mg/dl. The implications from this study are that providing diabetes education in the office is both effective and profitable.