An estimated 21 million Americans, 8.6% of the U.S. population, self-report as having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that comes with confusion and uncertainties, especially at the time of diagnosis. The American Diabetes Association created a free, 12-month diabetes education program to help people with type 2 diabetes (PWD) learn more about their disease and how to improve their overall health and reduce their risk of complications. This digital program provides 6 e-booklets, monthly e-newsletters, a year subscription to the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Forecast magazine, and access to an online community and local events. Program content of the e-booklets includes information on diabetes management including medication, physical activity, and nutrition.
A study was conducted to assess program impact on 1) knowledge of diabetes 2) self-efficacy, and 3) health behaviors. An online survey was sent to participants at registration and again at the end of the 12-month program. Paired samples analysis was conducted to assess the individual level change across those who completed both surveys (N= 897).
After the program, an average of 58% of participants increased their knowledge of diabetes-related topics such as complications and healthy eating (p ≤ 0.001) and 46% of participants increased their confidence to manage their diabetes (p ≤ 0.001). In addition, self-reported participation in diabetes education classes increased 34% among participants (p ≤ 0.001).
This evidence demonstrates that a digital education program effectively increases PWD’s knowledge and confidence to manage their diabetes. A digital education platform can serve as an important resource for PWD, especially those who may face barriers to receiving formal diabetes education.
Z. White: Employee; Self; American Diabetes Association. R. Woolley: Employee; Self; American Diabetes Association. S. Amanat: None. K. Mueller: None.