Evaluating the effectiveness of a tailored health educational health toolkit to modulate Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and restrain its complications, Mary E. Mbiatem and Ihab Tewfik
Mary Etem Mbiatem
School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, UK and Edmonton Mennonite Center for Newcomers, Canada
Dr. Ihab Tewfik
School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, UK
Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is increasing in epidemic proportions. While diet and self-care are important in the management of T2DM, unfortunately, patients are often unsure of what constitutes an adequate healthy diet or effective self-care practices.
Purpose: This study aims to develop health education material to increase patients’ knowledge of T2DM with respect to healthy eating and self-care practices, and enhance positive attitude changes towards their condition.
Methods: The study design included the administration of a health educational toolkit (in the form of a booklet), with the goal of raising participants’ knowledge, and consequently, attitude and self-care practices regarding T2DM. Using a purposive sampling approach, this 6-week pilot intervention recruited 25 women and 26 males (mean age = 55.98 years; SD ±11.019). Participants who attended the Diabetes Clinic at the Buea Regional Hospital, Cameroon, were interviewed to discover their knowledge and attitudes towards T2DM; the interviews were followed by anthropometric measurements and focus group discussions. Paired t-tests were used to assess patients’ changes in knowledge, attitudes and self-care practices.
Findings: Results showed significant increases in participants’ knowledge of T2DM postintervention: 58.8% of subjects were able to identify at least four risk factors of T2DM, compared to only 7.8% prior to the intervention (p=.0001). Diabetes was defined as a problem of insulin deficiency by 61% of subjects as opposed to 8% prior to the study (p=.0001). Participants’ knowledge of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia increased significantly (p=0.0001). Daily portions of vegetables increased from 47.1% to 58.8%, and a substantial number of subjects (33.3%) reported at least walking 2-4 times in a week for 30 minutes, post-intervention. However, there were no changes in the subjects’ general physical activity levels.
Conclusions: The results confirmed our hypothesis that increased knowledge of T2DM leads to healthier dietary choices, improved self-care practices and attitudes towards the condition. Health education toolkits are relevant to empower people with diabetes to have more active roles in modulating their health
Keywords: Health Education Toolkit, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Healthy Diet, Self-care Practices, Pilot Intervention, Cameroon.