The Effectiveness of Diabetic Education on Compliance as Measured by HbA1c

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Betty Sylvest, DNS, RN, CNE
Robert E. Smith School of Nursing, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS
Brandy Smith, MSN, RN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner, Golden Age Nursing Home, Greenwood, MS
Amanda Wilbourn, MSN, RN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Mal S. Riddel, Grenada, MS

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to recall educational ideas that assist the diabetic client in management of HbA1c levels.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand compliance problems in some cultures within the southern region of the United States of America


       Diabetes is a rapidly growing disease process that affects almost 15 million people in the United States of America. It has been noted that up to 80% of the diabetic population lack sufficient  knowledge and skills to effectively manage this chronic condition (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), 2005).

       The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the effectiveness of diabetic education as evidenced by lowering hemoglobin A1C levels (HbA1c). A convenience sample was chosen to complete one-on-one and group diabetic education classes over a three-month period. Hemoglobin A1C levels were obtained upon selection of the client for participation. During the three-month research period, two additional HbA1c levels were obtained. Diabetic knowledge base was assessed upon initial data collection and upon completion of the diabetic education sessions. Both initial HbA1c levels and completion HbA1c levels were compared and presented in the findings.   

       Findings were conclusive that providing diabetic education altered compliance by improving knowledge of diabetes and lowering HbA1c levels. Mean scores improved from pre-test and  post-test. Mean HbA1c levels decreased from initiation of the education and at completion of the project.

      As a result of the diabetic process, many Americans experience complications that alter quality of life; therefore, it is necessary to provide diabetic education to the affected population, in hopes of preventing many of these complications.


National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). (2005). National Diabetes Statistics. Retrieved from: