Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Diane K. Whitehead


Diabetes is the leading cause of death among American Indian/Alaskan Natives and the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) affects 9% of the U.S. population and costs the United States an estimated $245 billion annually. The purpose of this project was to identify patients’ concerns related to their disease and to develop an education program for providers to address these concerns. The project was framed using Orem’s theory of self-care and the middle-range theory of self-care of chronic illness. Five providers in an underserved clinic in Alaska conducted assessments during a primary care visit. Survey data were collected from 22 patients diagnosed with T2DM, ages 24 to 83 years. The de-identified data were analyzed for themes related to patients’ concerns. Themes included diet, exercise, blood sugar checks, medication, taking shots, understanding their disease, referrals, follow-up appointments, depression/anxiety, needing a new insulin pump, lifestyle change, and not knowing what they want. An education program was delivered to the 5 providers addressing the patient concerns. All providers agreed or strongly agreed that the education program provided information they could use to educate and support their T2DM patients. This project supported positive social change by empowering providers to focus on patients’ concerns and self-management of their disease.