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Research Base for the Proposed Solution of Diabetics

Comprehensive Education Program

Current studies indicate that incidences of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot are increasing within populations, especially among young adults and adolescents. According to American Heart Association (2010), the increasing incidences are due to changes in the lifestyles of young people relative to older people (Para. 4). Since the change of lifestyles has predisposed many young people to diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot, a comprehensive education program is the very appropriate solution because it creates awareness on the nature of the best lifestyles that people should practice to prevent the occurrence of these diabetic conditions. Tobin and Kennedy (2009) argue that education program is critical in helping the health care system “meet the Healthy People 2010 Diabetes Objective that include increasing the proportion of persons with diabetes who have at least an annual foot examination and reducing the frequency of foot ulcers and lower extremity amputations in persons with diabetes” (p. 8). Thus, a comprehensive education program concerning prevention, treatment, and management of diabetic conditions is imperative in enhancing health care awareness of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot in the population.

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Prevention

For effective prevention of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot, the entire population requires health care information. Since these diabetic conditions occur because of changes in lifestyles in modern society, the provision of vital information to guide that particular population on the choice of healthful lifestyles will be of great importance in preventing diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot. Walter (2007) notes that “effective prevention of diabetes is a personal initiative that requires a healthy diet and sufficient physical exercise that will aid utilization of blood glucose by the peripheral tissues” (p. 12). For people to take their initiative concerning healthy diet and physical exercise, they need sufficient heath information, and hence comprehensive education program comes handy.

Since diabetes mellitus is a major predisposing factor of diabetic foot, its control is critical in the prevention of diabetic foot. Kandel (2000) argues that diabetic patients require regular clinical check-up and home care remedies to enable them to remain alert and prevent the occurrence of the diabetic foot (p. 7). Research studies have revealed that early diagnosis, treatment, and management of diabetes mellitus significantly reduces the occurrence of diabetic foot. Corken notes, “Foot examinations, both by people with diabetes and their health care providers, are critical preventive actions” (2009, p. 8). People require critical information to guide and enable them to examine their feet regularly, take care of their feet, and consult the doctor in time to avoid further complications.

Treatment

Treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot need concerted efforts of both the patients and the medical professionals. Patients’ failure to follow medical prescriptions due to ignorance or misunderstanding is one of the problems that face treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot. Proper treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot need informed patients who will aid health care professionals by following prescriptions strictly and using home care remedies to enhance treatment. “The education aims to enhance the patients’ motivation and to improve their skills in diabetic foot care … the patient should be educated on how to recognize the potential foot problems and undertake necessary measures” (Poljicanin, Pavlic-Renar, Metelko, & Coce, 2005, p. 47). The comprehensive education program will therefore create awareness on appropriate medication and home care remedies that are essentforl onthe treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot

A survey carried out on the effectiveness of treatment of various diseases revealed that treatment of diseases in which the population has knowledge concerning their causes, prevention and treatment is very effective. Following the revelation, the World Health Organization has recommended for comprehensive education of the patients and the people should play a central in the prevention and treatment of diseases (Armstrong, Holtz-Neiderer, Wendel, Mohler, & Kimbriel, 2007, p.1044). Therefore, health education is playing a significant role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot.

Management

Given that both diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot are diseases that require careful management, patients and their families are the ones who bear great responsibility. Proper management of the diabetic conditions can only occur if there is sufficient information for the patients and their families to rely upon (Donald, 2009, p. 15). Essential information such as nature of the diet, type of physical exercise, symptoms of the diabetic conditions, foot ,care and when to seek medical attention amongst other health tips can only be available through comprehensive education program. Singh (2011) asserts that “education of patients regarding diabetic foot complications should be provided using a variety of techniques, incorporating both community and medical settings since the use of various settings and multiple methods is effective for improving foot care to patients with diabetes” (p. 2). Hence, pthe rovision of health care materials and educators who employ multiple teaching aids will thus enhance awareness of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot, and subsequently management of the diabetic conditions.

Proper management of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot is not only important in preventing the progression of the diabetic conditions but also in reducing the cost of treatment. Ortegon, Redekop, and Nissen (2004) found out that, “management of the diabetic foot according to guideline-based care improves survival, reduces diabetic foot complications, and is cost-effective and even cost-saving compared with standard care” (p. 901). Studies have shown that the availability of information on the disease is very important. People can easily gain various skills and knowledge, and employ them in the management of diseases that require long-term treatment and lifetime management. Rangnarson and Apelquist (2001) argue that well-informed people are very responsive the health care demands as they comply with preventive measures, medication instructions, and lifestyle management (p. 2079). Thus comprehensive education program is essential in the venation, treatment and management of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot because it enables patients and their respective families to make informed health decisions that are in line with the health care recommendations, and thus aid in combating diseases.

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Internal and External Validity

The research study has strong internal validity because there are no significant extraneous factors that can have an overwhelming confounding effect and invalidate the findings. In the research, there is significant correlation between comprehensive education and reduction in the incidences of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot. Thus the study hypothesizes that comprehensive education program can effectively reduce increasing incidences of diabetes mellitus and concomitantly reduce the incidences of diabetic foot by 10 % in the population. Moreover, the research study also has strong external validity since it provides for education to all patients in the health care institutions and the public as well. Bolton (2007) argues that, “to have strong external validity, you need a probability sample of subjects or respondents drawn using ‘chance methods’ from a clearly defined population” (p. 7). In the study, generalizability is possible since the study involves education of all patients and the public without any preferential treatment. Therefore, due to strong internal and external validity, there is causal effect between education and reduction in incidences of the diabetic conditions, hence viable extrapolation of the findings to the entire population.

References

American Heart Association. (2010). Diabetes Mellitus. American Heart Organization. Web.

Armstrong, D., Holtz-Neiderer, K., Wendel, C., Mohler, J., Kimbriel, H. R. (2007).

Skin Temperature Monitoring Reduces the Risk for Diabetic Foot Ulceration in High-Risk Patients. The American Journal of Medicine, 120(16), 1042-1046.

Bolton, W. (2006). Internal and External Validity. Journal of Statistical Analysis, 6, 1-9.

Corken, A. (2009). Prevention and Early Intervention for Diabetes Foot Problems, American Association of Diabetes Educators, 1-13.

Donald, T. (2009). Diabetic Foot Care. The Journal of E-Medicine and Health, 11(2), 1-16.

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Kandel, S. (2000). Take Care of Your Feet for a Life Time. American Association of Diabetes, 1-13.

Ortegon, M., Redekop, W., & Nissen, L. (2004). Cost-Effectiveness of Prevention and Treatment of Diabetic Foot: A Markov analysis. Diabetes Care, 27(4), 901-907.

Poljicanin, T., Pavlic-Renar, I., Metelko, Z., & Coce, F. (2005). Draft Program of Prevention of Diabetic Foot Development and Lower Extremity Amputation in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetologia Croatica, 34(2), 43-49.

Rangnarson, T., & Apelquist, J. (2001). Prevention of Diabetes-Related Foot Ulcers and Amputations: A Cost-Utility Analysis Based On Markov Model Simulations. Diabetologia Croatica, 44, 2077-2087.

Singh, P. (2011). Educational Strategies for Prevention of Diabetic Foot Complications: Clinical Evidence and Guidelines. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, 1-13.

Tobin, C., & Kennedy, C. (2009). A Health Care Provider’s Guide to Preventing Diabetes Foot Problems. National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1-50.

Walter, V. (2007). Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes. Indian Health Service, 1-22.

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