An accurate determination of the educational needs of diabetic patients is based on a wide range of patient characteristics. In the development of an assessment instrument to determine the educational needs of patients, the relative importance of numerous patient characteristics was determined. A questionnaire was mailed to 1518 health professionals who are either members of the American Association of Diabetes Educators or community health nurses in the state of Michigan. Analyses of the responses to this questionnaire have provided information regarding the knowledge, psychosocial, and demographic characteristics of patients, which are thought to be important in an educational diagnosis. Questions to measure these identified characteristics will be incorporated into an instrument that will assess the educational needs of diabetic patients.

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