Women Walking against Diabetes

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 3:35 PM
Tammy Lynn Williams, RN, MSN, MBA, CLNC , College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Learning Objective 1: examine the effectiveness of a weekly telephone intervention to increase walking in a group of women diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the positive aspects in health promotion to decrease health disparities in women diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

An estimated 18.2 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and of those, 90-95% have Type 2 diabetes. Meeting the recommended levels of physical activity is beneficial for diabetes management. Nearly one-third of Type 2 diabetics report no involvement in regular physical activity, while 38% report insufficient levels of physical activity. Vigorous physical activity is difficult for sedentary women with Type 2 diabetes. Walking is the most common mode of physical activity for diabetic patients, and has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force urges healthcare providers to use counseling techniques to promote physical activity among patients. Although physical activity counseling is commonly given to patients with chronic illnesses, the majority of patients who receive counseling are men.

Purpose: To test the effectiveness of telephone counseling designed to increase walking in women with Type 2 diabetes. The intervention was guided by the Health Promotion Model and the Transtheoretical Model of Change.

Method: A quasi-experimental design was used in a sample (N=50) of women with Type 2 diabetes. Weekly telephone counseling and mailings designed to increase walking was provided to the intervention group.

Data Analysis: Repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine differences between control and intervention groups on the following variables: walking, frequency of self-monitoring blood glucose, HbA1c levels, stages of change, physical activity self-efficacy, exercise benefits and barriers and body mass index.

Findings: Both groups showed signficiant differences over time for several of the variables. However, significant differences were found between groups only in the following variables: HbA1c levels, Body Mass Index, Frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose.

Implications: The knowledge from this study will assist in further development of effective interventions aimed at increasing physical activity levels and the frequency of self-monitoring blood glucose in Type 2 diabetic women.