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 Diabetic Education to Lower Hemoglobin A1c Levels of Diabetic Patients: Esta Mejor

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Journal Abstract - June 2005

By Edgar de Peralta, MD; Kaushal Patel, MD; Christine Wan, MD; Bernadette Fuentes, RN; and David Baldwin, PhD

This study assessed the effectiveness of a modified diabetic education class in lowering the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of diabetic patients. Modifications included having bilingual educators facilitate the class, providing food models common to Mexican-American diets, and supplying education materials in Spanish. We reviewed the charts of 100 diabetic patients who had been scheduled to attend the diabetic class in a community health center. A significant difference ( P =.001) was found between the baseline and follow-up levels of HbA1c in patients who attended the class (who showed a mean difference of 1.81 mm/dL) compared with those who did not (who showed a mean difference of only 0.63 mm/dL, which was not statistically significant). No significant difference ( P >.05) was found in the baseline HbA1c levels of those who attended the class (8.33 mm/dL) compared with those who did not attend (8.8 mm/dL). This study showed that the modified class was effective in lowering the HbA1c of diabetic patients. The diabetic class was underused, with only 54% attendance. Through this study, we suggest that health care providers should implement strategies by actively reaching out and tailoring education to the needs of their patients. 

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