Date of Conferral
The goal of diabetes education programs (DEPs) is to improve patients' pattern-management habits for those with type 2 diabetes (T2D), though participation in DEPs is lower than expected due to low physician referral rates. This retrospective study examined secondary data of 162 T2D patients who had been referred to a DEP in a community center in RI to determine whether the source of referral affected patient attendance, participation persistence, and outcomes. Self-referred (n = 62) and physician-referred (n = 100) groups were analyzed for possible associations among the aforementioned variables. Chi-square (p = .04) and logistic regression (p = .04) indicated that the referral source for a DEP does have an effect on participation rates, while logistic regression showed that odds for self-referred patients to participate were 1.97 times higher. Multiple linear regression found no difference between the referral source and the number of sessions patients completed, though covariate analysis showed that age (p = .02) contributes to the model. Multiple linear regression showed no difference between the number of sessions attended and changes in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. It is important to note that those who completed the program and reported pre- and post-program HbA1c levels (n = 7) all reported improved outcomes. This highlights the limitation of the small sample size (n = 7), which increased the possibility of a Type II error. This community center DEP model can serve as a blueprint, highlighting the importance of diabetes education and leading to positive social change by improving referral and participation rates and resulting in fewer complications, a decreased disease burden, and an improved quality of life.