An Assessment of Patient Education and Self-Management in Diabetes Disease Management—Two Case Studies
Diabetes affects 7.8% of Americans, nearly 24 million people, and costs $174 billion yearly. People with diabetes benefit from self-management; disease management (DM) programs are effective in managing populations with diabetes. Little has been published on the intersection of diabetes education and DM. Our hypothesis was that diabetes educators and their interventions integrate well with DM and effectively support providers' care delivery. A literature review was conducted for papers published within the past 3 years and identified using the search terms "diabetes educator" and "disease management." Those that primarily addressed community health workers or the primary care/community setting were excluded. Two case studies were conducted to augment the literature. Ten of 30 manuscripts identified in the literature review were applicable and indicate that techniques and interventions based on cognitive theories and behavioral change can be effective when coupled with diabetes DM. Better diabetes self-management through diabetes education encourages participation in DM programs and adherence to recommended care in programs offered by DM organizations or those that are provider based. Improved health outcomes and reduced cost can be achieved by blending diabetes education and DM. Diabetes educators are a critical part of the management team and, with their arsenal of goal setting and behavior change techniques, are an essential component for the success of diabetes DM programs. Additional research needs to be undertaken to identify effective ways to integrate diabetes educators and education into DM and to assess clinical, behavioral, and economic outcomes arising from such programs.
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