The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in a patient empowerment program would result in improved psychosocial self-efficacy and attitudes toward diabetes, as well as a reduction in blood glucose levels.
This study was conducted as a randomized, wait-listed control group trial. The intervention group received a six-session (one session per week) patient empowerment education program; the control group was assigned to a wait-list. At the end of 6 weeks, the control group completed the six-session empowerment program. Six weeks after the program, both groups provided follow-up data.
The intervention group showed gains over the control group on four of the eight self-efficacy subscales and two of the five diabetes attitude subscales. Also, the intervention group showed a significant reduction in glycated hemoglobin levels. Within groups, analysis of data from all program participants showed sustained improvements in all of the self-efficacy areas and two of the five diabetes attitude subscales and a modest improvement in blood glucose levels.
This study indicated that patient empowerment is an effective approach to developing educational interventions for addressing the psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes. Furthermore, patient empowerment is conducive to improving blood glucose control. In an ideal setting, patient education would address equally blood glucose management and the psychosocial challenges of living with diabetes.