The role of adult education in diabetes compliance
Layton, Susan R.
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The number of people being diagnosed with Diabetes is growing rapidly, however approximately 70 percent of those suffering with Diabetes go undiagnosed. It has been well documented that Diabetes education is an essential component to managing the sequelae of the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers the certification for the educational classes in Diabetes which is required for reimbursement. Therefore, the ADA regulates the offerings in these classes and is directly influential in the control/compliance of these individuals. The purpose of this study was to understand how an educational intervention leads to compliance in an American Diabetes Association (ADA) group class. Though many studies have been done quantitatively in the United States concerning Diabetes control, little is known about what factors in an educational program assist the diabetic to maintain compliance. Using a qualitative methodology consisting of semi-structured in-depth interviewing, data was collected from seven participants. These participants met all criteria set for this study which included participation in an ADA class, being under the care of a health practitioner, and being in compliance with treatment instructions. Every interview was audio-taped and transcribed. Transcripts were then analyzed by the constant comparative method. Upon analysis, the results demonstrated that the participants felt that they were able to successfully transfer the information from the classroom to their every day life. Factors the participants identified as important to their compliance included an educational experience with a comfortable environment, the attributes of the educator, and useful content. An involved support person and intrinsic motivation were two other factors that complemented the educational experience. Three conclusions were made based upon the results from the study. First, education programs that influence compliance have appealing and supportive climates, are taught by pleasant and knowledgeable educators, and offer useful content. Second, involvement of asupportive friend or family member heightens the influence of an educational program on compliance. Third, the presence of intrinsic motivation in the participant reinforces the determination to be compliant.