StudyCorgi Health & Medicine

Diabetes Self-Management Education in Elderly

Aging people often develop various chronic disorders including diabetes due to the changes that take place in their bodies. Glucose metabolism becomes impaired, and the health conditions often deteriorate due to older people’s sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets (Biensø et al., 2015). The disorder has become a global health concern as diabetes is the cause of death in 14.5% of people worldwide (Essien et al., 2017). Chrvala, Sherr, and Lipman (2016) note that medication-based treatment has proved to be effective, but it can be improved with the help of training and self-management skills development. Healthcare practitioners and scholars have come up with numerous strategies and frameworks. This project proposal depicts the major details of the study aimed at improving the health outcomes of older adults suffering from diabetes through the provision of training.

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The Spirit of Inquiry Ignited

Older patients diagnosed with such chronic disease as diabetes tend to follow healthcare professionals’ advice and treatment plan when it comes to medication. However, medication-based treatment has proved to be most effective when accompanied by sound training related to the development of healthy dietary habits and lifestyles (Park et al., 2017). In many cases, treatment can be even impaired if the guidelines related to diets are not followed. The use of certain training and guidance has become common in the clinical setting (Chrvala et al., 2016). For example, Ngandu et al. (2015) implemented a longitudinal study that revealed a positive impact of such treatment on elderly patients’ health including cognitive functions.

However, it has also been acknowledged that some groups do not follow the designed plans especially when it comes to physical activity or diets. For instance, African American patients are often reluctant to follow the developed plan or actively participate in various training programs (Trief et al., 2013). This nonconformity can undermine the expected results of treatment plans and programs that include training concerning diets, physical activity, and lifestyles. Such populations may need specific frameworks that address their various needs to the fullest.

The PICOT Question Formulated

(P) In elderly patients of 60 to 80 with chronic diseases like diabetes,

(I) does patient education intervention like exercises 30 minutes a day and healthy food diets,

(C) compared with only medication treatments,

(O) increase their health knowledge and improve their health status

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(T) in a period of 6 months?

Search Strategy Conducted

The PubMed database was used first to locate peer-reviewed articles that provided level 1 and level 2 evidence. The following keywords were used: diabetes, adult, treatment, elderly, education, self-management, knowledge. After that, the Science Direct database was also reviewed using the same keywords. The focus was on recent primary sources as it was essential to review particular evidence and evaluate the effectiveness of different programs. The studies that focused on older patients aged between 60 and 80 were included.

However, in order to estimate the extent to which training is utilized in the clinical setting. According to Chrvala et al. (2016), training programs aimed at shaping diets, lifestyles, and developing self-management skills are becoming an indispensable part of the treatment of diabetes. Level III evidence is also used as it was important to pay attention to different types of programs especially when it comes to alternative practices like yoga or Thai Chi. Armstrong, Colberg, and Sigal (2015) unveil certain peculiarities of the use of traditional and alternative strategies.

Critical Appraisal of the Evidence Performed

Evidence-based practice implies the use of different types of evidence characterized by validity and reliability. The sources used for this project are published in peer-reviewed articles. Importantly, the vast majority of these studies provide level I and level II evidence, which is regarded as the foundation of a valid and reliable analysis. These articles help in evaluating the effectiveness of different components of training programs that have been used in different clinical settings. For example, such aspects as physical activity, knowledge sharing, and conventional treatment components were included in this research.

As has been mentioned above, a descriptive study was also employed. The value of this research lies in its overview of the use of such alternative practices as yoga and Thai Chi. The present study will use some elements of these practices as they are regarded as beneficial for the development of muscular fitness, mobility, flexibility, balance, and self-control (Armstrong et al., 2015). These outcomes are specifically valuable for the elderly who may suffer from a lack of physical activity and flexibility or self-control.

Evidence Integrated with Clinical Expertise and Patient Preferences to Implement the Best Practice

The suggested program will contain some of the most effective components that have proved to be beneficial for elderly patients. Park et al. (2017) stress that a comprehensive approach to a training program for the elderly is important and beneficial. At that, researchers claim that the population with a shorter duration of the disease and higher HbA1 baseline benefited most. These findings can be used when evaluating the effectiveness of the program, so it is possible to include diabetes duration and HbA1 baseline in the list of variables for evaluation. Ngandu et al. (2015) also claim that multidimensional programs can result in positive health outcomes for elderly patients and improve or maintain their cognitive functioning.

As for the design of the training sessions, they should contain knowledge sharing as well as a period of physical activity. Essien et al. (2017) describe the outcomes of the program that involved structured guidelines provided to the patients. The researchers found the program effective as the patients’ health conditions improved as compared to the control group. The discussion component has proved to be an important element of such programs. For instance, Jahromi, Ramezanli, and Taheri (2015) note that an indispensable part of the sessions was a summary of the major points made at the end of the session. One of the members of the group summarized the material. Habibzadeh, Sofiani, Alilu, and Gillespie (2017) note that experience sharing also contributed to patients’ adherence to treatment plans and program activities.

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As has been mentioned above, such practices as Thai Chi and Yoga have proved to be effective as well (Armstrong et al., 2015). Prior et al. (2015) claim that increased capillary density in muscles positively affects glucose metabolism. Biensø et al. (2015) also provide evidence suggesting that physical activity is beneficial for glucose regulation. Therefore, it is possible to assume that rather intensive training may be needed, but it should definitely be age-appropriate.

Trief et al. (2013) provide important insights into the effects such programs may have on different ethnic groups. A telemedicine intervention was evaluated, and it turned out to be less effective in African American and Hispanic American patients. These populations failed to conform with all the prescriptions although they remained active in reporting and discussions. Such variables as disease duration and symptom severity had a significant impact on the participants’ adherence to the plan. Importantly, the intervention did not include a sound physical component.

Based on these findings, it is possible to describe the major components of the suggested program. The plan will be designed for older adults aged between 60 and 80. Ethnicity and disease duration will be important independent variables. The program’s duration will be six months. Each session will include several components including training, physical activity, knowledge, and experience sharing, as well as feedback. The trainer will provide certain data on the most appropriate dietary behaviors and lifestyles. It is essential to support all the information provided with the data concerning the particular benefits of each strategy, program component, and element. Every session, the participants should obtain evidence-based information as it will encourage the patients to adhere to the plan. Besides, the trainer will address the minority populations’ needs through providing the information concerning available resources, and ways to develop proper diets and lifestyles that can be affordable.

As for the physical activity, the training will include elements of yoga and Thai Chi that will be age-appropriate and intensive enough. Aerobics will also be included. In order to encourage the patients to be more active, it can be effective to encourage the patients to have journals where they note their achievements, as well as emotions, fears, and so on. This information can be used during the process of project evaluation. Each session will also include the discussion of experiences, concerns, plans, and the like. The patients should feel engaged and empowered. The provision of feedback can contribute to the achievement of these goals.

The outcome of Practice Change Evaluated

The evaluation of the program is an important process that can help in revealing gaps as well as reasons for failures if any. One of the methods to be employed is self-reporting. After the completion of the program, the participants will provide self-reports that will highlight their attitudes towards the program and intervention outcomes as seen by the patients. The patients will be encouraged to reveal the aspects and components of the program that were not effective, pleasant, appropriate, and so on. They will also report on their overall health conditions, improvements, or health deterioration, as well as overall satisfaction with health care provided. As has been mentioned above, the participants’ journals can help them be specific and identify the most important points.

Apart from self-reports, it is essential to identify specific health outcomes related to the program. The patients’ HbA1c outcomes can be measured to assess the effectiveness of the program. Finally, it can be important to analyze the healthcare professionals’ evaluation of the program. The practitioners’ views can be used to improve the program or to adjust it to particular settings. The practitioners involved in the project can complete questionnaires. Such aspects as patients’ conformity and adherence, availability of resources, possible gaps should be unveiled in these evaluations.

Project Dissemination

The dissemination of the project is an important stage that has to be implemented properly. Therefore, it can be necessary to use several channels to ensure that the findings will be reviewed and can enrich the knowledge base. First, the findings will be provided in a peer-reviewed article. This channel is the most appropriate dissemination strategy when it is necessary to share data on the national level. However, it can be appropriate to use such channels as conferences and local workshops. This approach can help in improving the program before the program has started. Such knowledge sharing can help craft the most efficient program that will address the needs of the target population. It is also possible to share the data through direct communication with nursing professionals working at nursing homes. They may provide their feedback on the results and factors that had an impact on the effectiveness of the project.


In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the suggested program is evidenced-based and addresses an urgent issue. The program can potentially help thousands of older patients especially minority groups that often have limited access to high-quality health care. The program will be evaluated based on the patients’ self-reports and their health-related data, as well as the nursing staff’s feedback. The dissemination of the findings will also be implemented through several channels. During the stage of project development, feedback from healthcare professionals will be used. Knowledge sharing will occur during workshops and conferences. The findings and project outcomes will also be revealed in a scholarly journal. The data (the article itself as well as emails or presentations) will be sent to several nursing professionals working in local nursing homes. The project is likely to have a positive impact on patients’ health as well as the development of the community. The program can be further used in various settings and help older patients maintain healthy and active lifestyles.

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Armstrong, M., Colberg, S., & Sigal, R. (2015). Moving beyond cardio: The value of resistance training, balance training, and other forms of exercise in the management of diabetes. Diabetes Spectrum, 28(1), 14-23. Web.

Bienso, R., Olesen, J., Gliemann, L., Schmidt, J., Matzen, M., Wojtaszewski, J.,… Pilegaard, H. (2015). Effects of exercise training on regulation of skeletal muscle glucose metabolism in elderly men. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 70(7), 866-872. Web.

Chrvala, C., Sherr, D., & Lipman, R. (2016). Diabetes self-management education for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review of the effect on glycemic control. Patient Education and Counseling, 99(6), 926-943. Web.

Essien, O., Out, A., Umoh, V., Enang, O., Hicks, J. P., & Walley, J. (2017). Intensive patient education improves glycaemic control in diabetes compared to conventional education: A randomized controlled trial in a Nigerian tertiary care hospital. PLoS ONE, 12(1), 1-12. Web.

Habibzadeh, H., Sofiani, A., Alilu, L., & Gillespie, M. (2017). The effect of group discussion-based education on self-management of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to usual care: A randomized control trial. Oman Medical Journal, 32(6), 499-506. Web.

Jahromi, M. K., Ramezanli, S., & Taheri, L. (2015). Efectiveness of diabetes self-management education on quality of life in diabetic elderly females. Global Journal of Health Science, 7(1), 10-15. Web.

Ngandu, T., Lehtisalo, J., Solomon, A., Levälahti, E., Ahtiluoto, S., Antikainen, R.,… Kivipelto, M. (2015). A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): A randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 385(9984), 2255-2263. Web.

Park, S. Y., Kim, S. Y., Lee, H. M., Hur, K. Y., Kim, J. H., Lee, M., … Jin, S. (2017). Diabetes camp as continuing education for diabetes self-management in middle-aged and elderly people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Metabolism Journalism, 41(2), 99-112. Web.

Prior, S., Goldberg, A., Ortmeyer, H., Chin, E., Chen, D., Blumenthal, J., & Ryan, A. (2015). Increased skeletal muscle capillarization independently enhances insulin sensitivity in older adults after exercise training and detraining. Diabetes, 64(10), 3386-3395. Web.

Trief, P. M., Izquierdo, R., Eimicke, J. P., Teresi, J. A., Goland, R., Palmas, W.,… Weinstock, R. S. (2013). Adherence to diabetes self-care for white, African-American and Hispanic American telemedicine participants: 5-year results from the IDEATel project. Ethnicity & Health, 18(1), 83-96. Web.

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"Diabetes Self-Management Education in Elderly." StudyCorgi, 18 Dec. 2020,

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StudyCorgi. "Diabetes Self-Management Education in Elderly." December 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Diabetes Self-Management Education in Elderly." December 18, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Diabetes Self-Management Education in Elderly'. 18 December.

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