Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Lynne Jensen

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Monica Heck

Committee Member

Dr. Nancy Kloha


BACKGROUND: From 1980 through 2014, the number of adults with diabetes in the United States has nearly quadrupled, from 5.5 million to 29.1 million. When diabetes education is combined with appropriate medical management, this result in improved participation in diabetes self-management, improved glycemic control, and improved medication adherence. Health education materials, including diabetic education material, are often written at a higher reading level than patients with lower health literacy can understand.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the educational information, both verbal instructions as well as written material, provided to patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus This project assessed patient perception, satisfaction, and understanding of the diabetic education given to them in an urban primary care clinic. This project also assessed provider perception of and current methods of providing diabetic education.

METHODS: This study was a single-center, cross-sectional study consisting of face-to-face patient and provider interviews at an urban primary care practice. The sample consisted of 24 total subjects, 20 patients and 4 providers at the clinic.

RESULTS: Sixty five percent of the study participants had HbA1c levels above 7.0%. Patients reported receiving adequate education, with verbal education as the primary method. A majority (60%) of participants have received written handouts in the past, and 87.5% of those who have never received handouts were interested in receiving them in the future. Of those who have received educational handouts, 91.7% reported reading the material at home, 90.9% reported the materials were easy to read and understand. Contrastingly, 50% of the providers felt the handouts are not helpful or utilized by patients. Only 30% of patients had met with the diabetic educator. All of the patients want continued verbal education, 90% want written education/handouts (with 75% requesting handouts with pictures/diagrams), and 70% of patients stated they are interested in meeting with the diabetic educator in the future.

CONCLUSION: Continuing to provide verbal education, in conjunction with other resources may be more effective in helping patients reach glycemic goals. Providers need to increase the utilization of the clinic’s existing resources, particularly written materials and referrals to the diabetic educator. Providing patients with handouts at every visit in addition to yearly meeting with the diabetic educator may increase patient involvement in their diabetic care, thus decreasing HgA1c levels.