Two diabetes education programs were compared to a control condition. Seventy-eight type II (non-insulindependent) diabetic outpatients were randomly assigned to nutrition education, nutrition education plus social learning intervention, or wait-list control conditions. Both interventions involved five weekly meetings that focused on reducing calorie intake, increasing dietary fiber, and decreasing fat consumption. The social learning condition also included individualized goal setting and feedback and training in problem-solving and relapse prevention. Within-group analyses and between-group comparisons generally revealed greater improvement in targeted goals (e.g., calorie intake, fat reduction) among intervention conditions than the control condition. There were few differences in more distal measures of outcome such as weight or glycosylated hemoglobin. The social learning component did not improve outcome more than the nutrition education program. Possible reasons for the observed findings and the advantages and limitations of focused time-limited diabetes education efforts are discussed.

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