Teaching and Learning Together: Improved Health and Education

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 4:25 PM

Rebecca Randall, EdD, RN1
Cristina Lammers, MD, MPH1
Karly Hegge, PharmD, BCPS2
Olayinka Shiyanbola, BPharm, PhD2
James Clem, PharmD2
Amy Richards, MS, RD, LN3
Marti Pollard, RDH, MS4
Ann Brunick, RDH, MS4
(1)College of Nursing, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
(2)College of Pharmacy, South Dakota State University, Sioux Falls, SD
(3)Sanford School of Medicine, Center for Disabilities, Sioux Falls, SD
(4)Department of Dental Hygiene, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD

Learning Objective 1: Verbalize strengths of inter-professional collaboration for health professional students and medically underserved patients with diabetes.

Learning Objective 2: Identify opportunities to incorporate the Alphabet Strategy and an inter-professional collaborative approach within their own communities.


This study was designed to improve diabetes self-management and clinical outcomes of underserved diabetic patients and increase health professional students’ understanding of the inter-professional healthcare team approach to care.


Underserved individuals with diabetes volunteered to participate in six student-led educational sessions. Thirty-five students from five health professions at two universities designed sessions to present key components of diabetic management. Topics were based on the Alphabet Strategy and included:  Advice, Blood pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes control and care, Dental care, Diet, Eye care, Foot Care, and Guardian Drugs.  Baseline and post-intervention values were collected for hemoglobin A1c , cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, BMI, and oral health. Participants completed surveys assessing diabetes self-management and health literacy pre- and post-intervention. Students were surveyed pre- and post-intervention to assess diabetes management knowledge and understanding of health professionals roles in diabetes care.


Sixteen patients completed this study and provided postive feedback. A majority of participants were female, White, had type 2 diabetes with self-reported good health. The mean age was 52. Most had no insurance plan and some college education. There were no statistically significant differences in patients’ knowledge of diabetes (z=0.409, p=0.66), understanding of diabetes care and management  (z=-1.981, p=0.053), health behaviors, clinical outcomes, and health literacy. Student participants indicated improved understanding of diabetes, patient centered healthcare, and roles of health professionals.


The sample size was insufficient to determine significant outcome improvements; however, this study acknowledged the value of an inter-professional approach to diabetes education and management. With a larger sample size, this model could be tested in other practice settings to address management of other chronic diseases. This model could also be incorporated into healthcare policies seeking to improve health professionals’ training, and as a venue for increasing population access to quality, evidence-based diabetes care.