Masters Thesis

Managing HbA1c levels through Diabetes education

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (DM) has reached epidemic proportions in the past several decades due to the advancing age of the population, an increased prevalence of obesity, and decreased physical activity. One in every 14 Americans has diabetes, and another 40% of the population is at risk for developing the disease (Funnell & Kruger, 2004). Every year, diabetes accounts for more than 200,000 deaths, 82,000 amputations, and 44,400 new cases of end stage renal disease and up to 24,000 new cases of blindness in the United States (American Diabetes Association).Diabetes mellitus is characterized by recurrent or persistent hyperglycemia. Hemoglobin A1C measures nonreversible glycosylation of the hemoglobin molecule. HbA1c is a term often used in relation to diabetes; it is used for diabetes diagnosis and how it differs from blood glucose levels. For people with diabetes, an HbA1c level of 6.5% is considered good control, although some prefer numbers closer to non-diabetic levels. This result driven task is completed to determine the patient’s compliance level. Diabetes is a largely self-managed illness; diabetes education has long been viewed as an essential component of care. Primary care physicians provide clinical care for the majority of patients with DM but few primary care providers have the resources to assist patients to achieve the level of glycemic control needed to prevent long term complications (Graber, Elasy, Quinn, Wolff, & Brown, 2002). The purpose of this study was to identify best practices in diabetes education measured by lowering HbA1c levels. Teaching and Learning theories will help evaluate the measures of HbA1c levels in diabetes education. Areas of lifestyle behaviors assessed including health responsibility and self-management practices. A total of 64 articles were reviewed to determine and define best practices of diabetes education. The findings were that a significant improvement in healthy lifestyle practices and measuring of HbA1c levels through diabetes education. The results identified both diabetes education and intervention of clinical staff help support that diabetes education is measured through lowering HbA1c levels.

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