The most effective way to educate adult patients about diabetes in order to prevent complications
Badr Aqeel Alshrari
The aim of this qualitative review of literature was to evaluate articles published on the most effective ways to educate adult patients to reduce HbA1 c levels, change in lifestyles and other attributes of good self-management of diabetes. Databases of CINAHL, PubMed and Medline were searched using Boolean combinations of search terms. Only English sources with abstract published during 2009-2019 were selected. After a systematic filtering process, 14 articles were found usable in this paper and they were discussed under appropriate section heads. Findings from the review were as follows. Education delivered on an ongoing basis is more effective at promoting self-management compared to an initial education session. Whether inpatient or outpatient education is superior is not clear, as no comparison study was available. Digital platforms including video games may be suitable for younger adults or those who are more visual or practical learners, or for any diabetic patient who finds the classroom setting less effective for learning and would likely benefit from greater engagement. Many findings failed to give clear post-education advantage in terms of more than just reduction of HbA1c levels. Effects on lifestyle changes, physical activities or diet control were less conclusive and evidence on these were inadequate. It is unclear whether personalised one-on-one education is more effective than group sessions. Requirement of newer researches on comparison of digital and other methods of education, absence of demonstration of age effects in the methods of education, comparison of personalised against group sessions and inpatient against outpatient settings were suggested. In conclusion, the overall available evidence suggests a session in the transition stage of inpatient to outpatient stage and ongoing follow-up sessions using whatever methods and monitoring of adherence to self-management guidelines to be most promising line of diabetes education.