Diabetes Classes Serve Participants Well

In an initiative to reduce the amputation rates and improve diabetes care in Meridian, Miss., atom Alliance partner, Information & Quality Healthcare (IQH), utilized the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) module to conduct diabetes self-management education (DSME) classes. Other Alliance partners are expanding DEEP to Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The target population was Medicare African-Americans with diabetes at high risk for limb amputation and other complications related to diabetes.

During the DSME classes, the participants were instructed on foot care using a diabetic ulcer foot model, and a demonstration is given on daily foot care about daily inspections for abnormalities; use of mirrors for visual inspection under the bottom of feet; proper fitting of shoes; the purpose and demonstration of monofilament use; sensation loss, etc.

Diabetic foot socks are disseminated and participants are encouraged to wear appropriate socks and shoes for decreasing complications to feet.

Participants were instructed on the damage to the small vessels as a result of uncontrolled blood sugars and the early signs of decreased sensation loss. The importance of having a foot exam by their healthcare provider is emphasized. Participants in the DSME classes were asked to discuss the importance of foot care, signs of complications and appropriate foot care at each subsequent class.

A participant in one of the DSME classes reported that upon hearing the information concerning the foot care in the diabetes class: “I went to the doctor and had my feet examined. I thought it was my arthritis, but the check-up revealed that I had two swollen ligaments, a spur in my foot and a misplaced bone that was causing pain. The doctor gave me a shot in my foot and wrapped it. I had to wear the wrap for five days. My foot is much better now.”

The participant said, “Had I not attended the class, I would not have gone to the doctor for my feet.”

Even though the foot problem was not directly caused by diabetes, any foot problem can escalate into a very serious health problem for diabetics.

The knowledge that the participant gained empowered her to share this important point with her healthcare provider and demonstrates the success of the classes.

During DSME classes, group interaction and participatory learning using visual props and pictures is a major factor in promoting self-care management of diabetes.

IQH staff used language and low literacy materials to enhance the participants’ interest in the management of their illness.

Diabetes Class Serve Participants Well
Diabetes Class Serve Participants Well

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531.91 KB | Last Updated: April 2, 2015

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