Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Diane Whitehead


Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is a key resource in the battle against diabetes and its secondary effects. This quality improvement project was conducted to address the decreased attendance rates of DSME classes in a community health center in the southern United States. The practice question for this project explored process-related strategies to increase patient attendance in DSME classes. Based on review of patient reports of reasons for nonattendance and an evaluation of peer reviewed literature on improving attendance in DSME, the following strategies were implemented: (a) alternative solutions such as providing patients with the dates for a year of initial classes, (b) increased scheduling of 1:1 classes, (c) education of more staff to meet patients' needs, (d) automatic phone call reminders to patients, (e) increased mailing of appointments to absent patients, (f) promoting DSME classes at physicians' meetings, (g) having clinic nurses schedule the patient's first classes at the time of physician visit (h) alteration of class times to compliment patient schedules, and (i) scheduling classes around public transportation schedules. Although there were no pre- and post-attendance data provided by the facility, recommendations of the DSME project team were to continue tracking weekly patient attendance and maintain the current recommendations for increasing enrollment. This project might contribute to positive social change for patients, their families, clinic employees, and the community by improving the health and self-management of the diabetic patients.