Translating Research into Practice: Impact of an Interprofessional Diabetes Education Model on Patient Health Outcomes

Olayinka O. Shiyanbola, Becky Randall, Cristina Lammers, Karly A. Hegge, Michelle Anderson

Abstract


Background: Patient education programs encouraging diabetes self-management can improve clinical outcomes and lessen diabetes complications. This study implemented an innovative interprofessional student-led diabetes self-management and health promotion program for an underserved population and demonstrated an improvement in participant clinical outcomes and students’ understanding of interprofessional aspects of diabetes care.

Methods and Findings: This community-based program was implemented at two sites that serve medically underserved individuals. Students from five health career professions led educational sessions designed to demonstrate critical components of diabetes self-management. The six-month longitudinal program covered topics within the Alphabet Strategy, including Advice, Blood pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes control, Dental care, Diet, Eye care, Foot care, and Guardian drugs. Participants completed surveys evaluating diabetes knowledge, understanding of diabetes care, and health behaviours. Clinical values were collected before and after the program. Student surveys assessed their understanding of diabetes self-management. Upon completion of the program, all assessments were repeated to determine if there were improvements in outcomes. Thirty-eight participants and thirty students completed the study. There were significant improvements in participants’ diabetes knowledge, understanding of diabetes management, and clinical outcomes. There were significant improvements in the students’ ability to educate patients about foot care, eye care, and guardian drugs, as well as increased awareness of the role of each health profession in diabetes care.

Conclusions: This interprofessional health promotion model showed significant improvements in patient and student outcomes. This innovative student-led program could be implemented in other settings and for the management of other chronic diseases.


Keywords


Interprofessional Care; Colloboration; Diabetes; Clinical outcomes; Health promotion

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/jripe.2014v4n2a164