Knowledge Is Power

Diabetes Education and Empowerment That Works

At the very time that more than 3,000 Certified Diabetes Educators are gathering for their association’s annual meeting in San Diego,  a new study documents the effectiveness and empowerment that CDEs can provide for people living with type 2 diabetes.

In a randomized controlled trial, Michael Bowen and colleagues assigned 150 adults with type 2 diabetes to receive diabetes self-management education and support (DSME) or general health education. The study included two DSME groups. One group focused on carbohydrate counting, while the other used a simpler “modified plate” method for dietary self management.

They found that either approach is an effective means for achieving better diabetes control in patients with hemoglobin A1c in the range of seven to ten percent. They also found that a patient’s numeracy – a skill for working with numbers – might be a key factor in success for using the carb-counting method versus the modified plate method.

By using general health education as a control group, Bowen et al provide compelling evidence that it’s the education and empowerment delivered by CDEs providing better outcomes for people with type 2 diabetes.

And today at the AADE annual meeting, diabetes educators will take on the subject of chronic disease management for obesity. Richard Lindquist (stepping in for Craig Primack) will cover medical management, while ConscienHealth founder Ted Kyle will discuss how health policy and bias affects efforts to address it.

Diabetes educators are an impressive group of nearly 20,000 nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists with skills that make a difference in the lives of people with diabetes. They just might be an important model for efforts to provide better, more accessible obesity care.

Click here for the study by Bowen et al in Patient Education and Counseling. Click here for the Kyle’s presentation to the AADE.

Knowledge Is Power, photograph © Det N. / flickr

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August 14, 2016