Educating diabetics about the disease can help them deal with the condition by reducing blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, a new research shows.
The study was conducted on 1,263 people diagnosed with diabetes. They all were residents of a low-income urban area with a high immigrant population. Diabetes educators took 30-minute sessions with them on a one-on-one basis. The participants were taught about healthy eating, staying active, monitoring, medications, problem solving techniques, healthy coping and reducing risks.
Apart from this, the researchers also conducted group sessions with the diabetes patients to help them choose viable and easy to follow options and guidelines.
The study results showed that after receiving diabetes education for 15 months the subjects on average lowered their A1C (blood sugar) levels by 67 percent and their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 53 percent. The high blood pressure of the participants was reduced by 25 percent compared to 32 percent before to the study.
Lovelyamma Varghese, Director of Nursing Practice and Quality for the Ambulatory Care Network at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said that diabetes education was a necessity for diabetics . The sessions were designed to empower patients to self-manage and reach their goals.
Varghese said that this program works with their patient-centered approach, which prioritizes the patients' needs. "As diabetes educators we can go into their homes, speak their language, identify opportunities for behavioral changes, even open the fridge and see what's in there-it's a partnership," Varghese said.
The study findings were presented by the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program from New York-Presbyterian Hospital today at AADE14, the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting & Exhibition.