Objective: To examine whether participating in Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) was associated with increased diabetes preventive care practices among those with and without self-reported vision impairment (VI).

Background: Over 30 million people in the United States have diagnosed diabetes. DSME is a vital component of care, facilitating the knowledge and skills needed to improve self-care for diabetes. Those with VI are more likely to have diabetes than those without, highlighting a need to examine DSME participation and preventive care practices among those with and without VI.

Methods: We used data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a large ongoing landline and cellular telephone based survey. The question “Have you ever taken a course or class in how to manage your diabetes yourself?” was asked in 37 states plus the District of Columbia and Guam. In a logistic regression, we examined if the association between DSME and 9 preventive care practices was significantly modified by VI status.

Results: Regardless of VI status, respondents with diabetes who participated in DSME had a greater predicted probability of engaging in each preventive care practice than those who did not. Compared to respondents with VI who did not participate in DSME, those with VI who participated in DSME had a significantly greater predicted probability of having administered a daily glucose check (83.7% vs. 59.3%) and having had an annual visit to a health care professional for their diabetes (95.3% vs. 82.1%).

Conclusions: Participants with VI who received DSME have increased predicted probability of engaging in certain self-care practices compared to those with VI who did not receive DSME. This highlights the importance of people with diabetes and VI acquiring the appropriate tools to positively affect their own health.


S. Sekar: None. R.B. Gerzoff: None. J.B. Saaddine: None. M.M. Saunders: None.

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