Group-based education resulted in improved diabetes control as reflected by blood glucose levels and patients' knowledge of diabetes. Evidence also suggested that participants in diabetes group education programs may reduce their blood pressure and body weight and increase self-empowerment, quality of life, self-management skills and treatment satisfaction.
Patient management programs, however, are not routinely used to treat people with diabetes.
Trudi Deakin, Ph.D, of Burnley, Pendle and Rossendlae primary care trust and a diabetes research dietician at Burnley General Hospital in England, led a team that reviewed 11 studies involving 1,532 patients with type 2 diabetes to assess the effects of group-based (six or more participants) patient-centered diabetes training in both the short (four to six months) and long term (12 to 14 months). The researchers also assessed the effects of training on clinical, lifestyle and psychosocial outcomes.
"The review shows that group education for diabetes mellitus works and should move forward, especially because it's cost-effective. The results should encourage more research in this area," Deakin says.
The review appears in the most recent issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both, and can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney disease,
Contact: Julia Lampam
Center for the Advancement of Health