Diabetes is a serious disorder in which the levels of blood glucose and sugar become very high. In order to control the patient’s conditions, they need to carry out the HbA1c test regularly (American Diabetes Association, 2015). Therefore, it is the major factor that determines the health of a patient with diabetes. This problem is especially relevant to Latin Americans. Statistics show that diabetes death rates among Hispanics are higher than among white people by approximately 20 percent (Schneiderman et al., 2014). Educational programs might help to solve this problem. However, Hispanic patients require special treatment due to cultural differences. Therefore, the following background question might be formulated: Is continuing patient education effective to improve HgBA1C in diabetic Hispanic patients? The main goals of this paper are to answer the background question and discuss a strategy to get a comprehensive understanding of the clinical issue.
In order to answer the background question, it is necessary to apply a strategy that involves thorough research that covers all aspects of diabetes education for Hispanics and demonstrates its effect on their health. The nature of diabetes emphasizes the importance of patient education that cultivates knowledge and skills that can improve the quality of life. Statistics demonstrate that around 9 percent of Americans suffer this disease (Blackwell, Lucas, & Clarke, 2014). The increase in the number of patients with diabetes is associated with the growth of minority populations, especially Latin Americans. Therefore, it is necessary to pay particular attention to this ethnic group.
The impact of education on this minority group is crucial as it fosters behavioral changes. It influences self-efficacy and additionally motivates patients (Bowen et al., 2016). Eventually, such changes improve diabetes outcomes and overall health. According to Ferguson, Swan, and Smaldone (2015), educational programs for Hispanics result in a significant A1C reduction (-0.25%). This characteristic was compared to patients who did not undergo the programs. Another study demonstrated similar results. A diabetes self-management course for Hispanic patients successfully improved their behavioral skills. In addition, after 1 year, improvements were critical for the A1C level (-0.57%) (Pérez-Escamilla et al., 2015). Also, this intervention positively affected blood glucose control. A study by Welch et al. (2015) demonstrates the effectiveness of a new internet-based educational method. The researchers compared HgBA1C in patients who participated in the program to the same parameter in patients who received usual diabetes care. The results showed that HgBA1C reached the level of 7 percent in patients who undertook the program (Welch et al., 2015). These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of educational interventions.
The main purpose of such programs is to improve the understanding of diabetes management regarding existing cultural differences. Therefore, the strategy for getting a comprehensive understanding of the issue should involve a comparison study of two groups of patients who received different diabetes care. Taking into consideration all the mentioned above facts, the following PICOT question might be formulated to guide the further research on this issue: How effectively does diabetes education (I) improve health outcomes (O) in Hispanics aged 30 to 60 with diabetes mellitus type 2 (P) in comparison with patients who do not have such knowledge and skills (C) during a 2-year time frame after being diagnosed (T).
Educational programs for Hispanic patients with diabetes are necessary as they help to improve their health conditions. However, such programs should be developed, taking into account the existing cultural specificities. Further research will demonstrate which factors the effectiveness of diabetes education for Hispanics depends, and thus, it will provide opportunities for the improvement of such programs.
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Blackwell, D. L., Lucas, J. W., & Clarke, T. C. (2014). Summary health statistics for US adults: National health interview survey, 2012. Vital and Health Statistics. Series 10, Data from the National Health Survey, (260), 1-161.
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Ferguson, S., Swan, M., & Smaldone, A. (2015). Does diabetes self-management education in conjunction with primary care improve glycemic control in Hispanic patients? A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Diabetes Educator, 41(4), 472-484.
Pérez-Escamilla, R., Damio, G., Chhabra, J., Fernandez, M. L., Segura-Pérez, S., Vega-López, S.,… D’Agostino, D. (2015). Impact of a community health workers–led structured program on blood glucose control among Latinos with type 2 diabetes: The DIALBEST trial. Diabetes Care, 38(2), 197-205.
Schneiderman, N., Llabre, M., Cowie, C. C., Barnhart, J., Carnethon, M., Gallo, L. C.,… Teng, Y. (2014). Prevalence of diabetes among Hispanics/Latinos from diverse backgrounds: The Hispanic community health study/study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Diabetes Care, 37(8), 2233-2239.
Welch, G., Zagarins, S. E., Santiago-Kelly, P., Rodriguez, Z., Bursell, S. E., Rosal, M. C., & Gabbay, R. A. (2015). An internet-based diabetes management platform improves team care and outcomes in an urban Latino population. Diabetes Care, 38(4), 561-567.