This pilot study evaluated an innovative diabetes symptom awareness and self-management educational program for Mexican Americans, a fast growing minority population experiencing a diabetes epidemic. Patients with diabetes need assistance interpreting and managing symptoms, which are often annoying and potentially life-threatening. A repeated measures randomized controlled trial was conducted with 72 Mexican Americans aged 25-75 years with type 2 diabetes. Experimental condition participants received eight weekly, in-home, one-on-one educational and behavior modification sessions with a registered nurse focusing on symptom awareness, glucose self-testing and appropriate treatments, followed by eight biweekly support telephone sessions. Wait-listed control condition participants served as comparisons at three time points. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention between-and within groups on psychosocial, behavioral and clinical outcomes. Participants were predominantly female, middle-aged, moderately acculturated and in poor glycemic control. Experimental group participants (n = 39) significantly improved glycemic control, blood pressure, symptoms, knowledge, self-efficacy, empowerment and quality of life. Post intervention focus groups reported satisfaction with the symptom focus. Addressing symptoms led to clinical and psychosocial improvements. Symptoms seem to be an important motivator and a useful prompt to engage patients in diabetes self-management behaviors to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health