In patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), the influence of knowledge about their disease on the treatment and control of the disease is not clear. We evaluated the efficacy of educational group meetings with NIDDM patients on improving their knowledge of the disease and on disease management. Fifty-one NIDDM patients were randomly assigned to either intervention or control groups. The intervention group participated in courses of three weekly lessons presented by a physician, nurse, and dietitian once every 4 mo. The intervention and control groups were also followed once every 2 mo in the clinic by the same staff. Medical treatment remained unchanged during the study. After a 12-mo follow-up of the intervention group, no significant improvement in their knowledge of diabetes could be demonstrated. However, mean fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels and HbA1c improved significantly in comparison with the control goup. The same tendency was evident with the weight and lipoprotein profile. We conclude that educational group therapy can improve diabetes control in patients with NIDDM.

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