Millions of people suffer from diabetes throughout the world. However, the disease can be effectively treated. People who constantly control their blood sugar levels do not develop any serious symptoms. Educational programs help to improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2015b). However, these programs should be designed about the needs of ethnic minorities. The percent of Hispanics with diabetes is tremendously high (Schneiderman et al., 2014). The main goal of this paper is to discuss this issue in detail.
Diabetes mellitus is a group of disorders in which the level of glucose in the blood becomes too high. The underlying reason for diabetes is that the body cannot produce a necessary amount of insulin. There are two types of diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2015a). Type 1 diabetes means that the body cannot produce insulin at all. Type 2 diabetes means that either the body does not produce enough insulin or cells do not use it properly.
The problems related to diabetes are relevant in all countries. The main reasons for such a wide geography of the disease are unhealthy lifestyles and obesity. Statistics demonstrate that approximately 380 million people suffered from diabetes in 2013, but this number is expected to increase to 600 million by 2035 (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). The aetiological classification of the disease is now acknowledged worldwide. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type in adults. However, type 1 diabetes also develops in children.
There are several common symptoms that allow diagnosing diabetes. These are weight loss, polydipsia, blurred vision, and yeast infection. However, one of the main problems associated with the disease is that many people with type 2 diabetes do not develop any symptoms (Khardori, 2018). Therefore, this disorder might remain undiagnosed for a long time. It results in a situation when patients have other conditions such as retinopathy or neuropathy at the time they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes alone does not lead to any complications. However, if the disease is not adequately controlled, it might cause severe health problems. High blood sugar drastically affects people’s health, but most patients do not feel any significant changes until complications become serious. People with uncontrolled diabetes might lose vision, die from a stroke or heart attack, or develop neuropathy. In the most serious cases, neuropathy might even lead to the amputation of a limb.
There are two main tests to diagnose diabetes. These are the initial glucose challenge test and follow-up glucose tolerance testing. The first test includes drinking a glucose syrup and a blood sugar test after one hour. If the level is higher than 140 mg/dL, a doctor will order the second test (“Diagnosis,” 2014). To carry out the follow-up glucose tolerance test, a patient should drink syrup with a higher concentration of glucose, and then, their blood sugar level is checked three times. If two out of three tests are positive, the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases, and it might result in serious complications. However, there are several preventive measures that allow avoiding any serious problems. Some of them are a healthy lifestyle and the control of the blood glucose level. These factors are crucial for healing processes as well.
The main factor that affects health outcomes for patients is the control of the blood sugar level. There are various educational programs that increase awareness among people with diabetes about the disease and measures that prevent serious complications (Ferguson, Swan, & Smaldone, 2015). However, the US population is very diverse, and some minorities, especially Hispanics, are faced with certain educational barriers. Education is very important for these minority groups as it fosters behavioral changes and improves the understanding of diabetes management. It also influences self-efficacy and additionally motivates patients (Bowen et al., 2016). Eventually, such changes improve diabetes outcomes and overall health. However, the effectiveness of some of these programs is in question. The ability to comprehend and apply information depends on the patient’s background that includes life experience and origin. Cultural awareness of educators and cultural tolerance are also very important factors that might enhance cooperation between patients and medical personnel. Diabetes death rates among Hispanics are very high. That is why it is necessary to pay particular attention to this ethnic group. It is very important to analyze the existing problems associated with educational programs designed for ethnic minorities. Such studies can suggest methods to improve this situation.
To discuss this issue, the following PICOT question might be formulated: 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). This question reflects the described above clinical issue and is appropriate to complete an evidence-based practice project.
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American Diabetes Association. (2015b). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2015 abridged for primary care providers. Clinical Diabetes: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association, 33(2), 97.
Bowen, M. E., Cavanaugh, K. L., Wolff, K., Davis, D., Gregory, R. P., Shintani, A.,… & Rothman, R. L. (2016). The diabetes nutrition education study randomized controlled trial: A comparative effectiveness study of approaches to nutrition in diabetes self-management education. Patient Education and Counseling, 99(8), 1368-1376.
Diagnosis. (2014). Web.
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.
Forouhi, N., & Wareham, N. (2014). Epidemiology of diabetes. Medicine, 42(12), 698-702.
Khardori, R. (2018). Type 2 diabetes mellitus clinical presentation. Web.
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.