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Self-reported and actual knowledge regarding the care of individuals with diabetes mellitus of nurses working in home care and hospital settings Lenahan, Rose M. M.


This descriptive correlational study was designed to describe the relationship between self-reported knowledge and skills and actual knowledge about the care of individuals with diabetes mellitus of nurses working in acute medical/surgical hospital units and home care settings. Data were gathered by means of three instruments. The Demographic Data sheet was developed by the researcher. The Diabetes Self-Report Tool (DSRT) used to measure the self-reported knowledge and skills and the Diabetes Basic Knowledge Test (DBKT) used to measure the actual knowledge were developed by Drass, Muir-Nash, Boykin, Turek & Baker (1989). The instruments were mailed to a random sample of 150 homecare and 150 acute medical/surgical hospital nurses through the computerized registry of the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia. A total of 81 home care and 73 hospital nurses returned the completed instruments for a combined number of 154 and a response rate of 51.3%. The majority of the sample (62.7%, n = 96) had not had diabetic in-service education within the last two years or had never attended diabetic inservice. However, the home care nurses had had inservice education more recently and had more years of nursing experience than the hospital nurses. The home care and hospital nurses had DSRT mean scores of 59.9 and 56.3, respectively, out of a possible 88. The mean score for home care nurses on the DBKT was 27.95 and/or hospital nurses, 28.6, out of a possible 45. The data suggest that there were major knowledge deficits for both groups in the areas of the Somogyi effect, insulin administration, oral hypoglycemic medications, urine and blood glucose testing, the treatment of hypoglycemia and the etiology of Type I diabetes. Both groups of nurses rated their knowledge of and skills (DSRT) in caring for individuals with diabetes mellitus higher than their achieved scores on the DBKT in all 22 content areas. Scores of home care nurses on the DSRT and DBKT were positively and significantly correlated. No such relationship existed between the scores of the hospital nurses. Conclusions from the findings are presented and implications for nursing are discussed.

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