Glycaemic benefit of structured diabetes education in Nepal, a resource limited environment
Keywords:type 2 diabetes, structured diabetes education, diabetes self-management, fasting plasma glucose
Introduction: Structured diabetes education is a key element in the management of type 2 diabetes, but this is challenging to deliver in settings where resources are limited.
Methods: We conducted a randomised evaluation of a single 90-minute session of structured diabetes education added to the local standard of diabetes care compared with a control group (standard diabetes care only) in 150 patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in Nepal. The level of knowledge about diabetes was low.
Results: Follow-up 6 months after the intervention showed that the reduction in mean (SD) fasting plasma glucose was significantly larger in the education group (from 8.6 (2.9) mmol/L to 6.7 (1.2) mmol/L) compared with the control group (from 8.1 (1.8) mmol/L to 7.0 (1.8) mmol/L) (p=0.029 for comparison between groups). A significant reduction in postprandial plasma glucose also occurred in the education group (from 11.7 (3.7) mmol/L to 8.3 (1.2) mmol/L) compared with the control group (from 11.5 (4.0) mmol/L to 9.7 (2.3) mmol/L) (p=0.005 between groups). A trend to reduced HbA1c was seen for the education versus the control group at 6 months (p=0.06). There were no significant changes in lipids or blood pressure. Overall energy intake and the proportion of energy intake from fat was lower at 6 months compared with baseline for the education group but not for the control group, although there were no significant changes in anthropometric parameters.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that a single session of structured diabetes education may provide glycaemic benefits in newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients, and that this may be a pragmatic means of improving diabetes self-care in resource-limited countries such as Nepal.
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