To live a healthy life with diabetes involves healthy behaviours. A key goal of diabetes self-management education is to educate, coach and support people to change behaviour.
But how do we know that these programs make a difference?
The Community Diabetes Education Program of Ottawa, hosted by Centretown Community Health Centre, participated in a research study looking at exactly this. People with Type 2 Diabetes, who were newly referred to diabetes education programs were invited to participate. They answered questions at their first visit and six and twelve months later about their diabetes self-care activities, readiness to change behaviour and health-related quality of life. 312 people were enrolled over a three year period, in 31 locations across Ontario.
Results showed a significant increase over time in participants’ diabetes self-care activities (not smoking, diet, blood testing, exercise and foot care), their readiness to change behaviours (not sure, pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance) and their quality of life measures.
The study demonstrated that participating in a diabetes education program can indeed support behavioural change.