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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An experimental study to evaluate the effectiveness of a diabetic teaching tool Skelton, Judith Mary


The purpose of this study was to answer the question, 'Will diabetic patients taught by means of a "Diabetic Teaching Tool" demonstrate a higher level of learning about self-care, than patients taught in the institution's usual manner?' The answer to the question was sought by comparing the self-care knowledge and skills of two groups of diabetic patients admitted to a suburban general hospital which, prior to the study, offered no planned programme of diabetic patient education. All diabetic patients admitted to this hospital over a six month period were screened for eligibility to participate in the study according to criteria stated by the researcher. Eligible patients admitted in the first three months were designated as control subjects; those in the last three months as experimental subjects. The twenty subjects in the control group were taught in an unplanned manner, based upon whether and/or what instructions were deemed pertinent by their nurses. A "Diabetic Teaching Tool"-- designed by the researcher and administered by each patient's own nurse(s)-- was used to instruct the twenty experimental subjects. After discharge, each of the forty subjects was visited by the researcher, at which time a profile sheet was completed and a test of diabetic learning administered. Demographic and diabetic characteristics of the subjects-obtained from the patient profile sheets-- were analyzed and described in terms of distributions, medians and/or means. The test results were subjected to t-test analyses on several dimensions. And a number of demographic and diabetic traits were compared with their respective test scores by means of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient. The data supported the following conclusions: 1. Diabetic patients taught by means of the "Diabetic Teaching Tool" demonstrated a significantly higher level of learning about self-care than did patients taught in the unplanned manner. 2. Statistically significant differences were found between test scores of patients taught with the "Diabetic Teaching Tool" and those receiving unplanned instruction regardless of the duration of their diabetes. Thus 'old' diabetics were able to derive as much benefit from the teaching tool as were 'new' diabetics. 3. The level of learning demonstrated by patients taught with the "Diabetic Teaching Tool" appeared to be independent of the following factors: age at time of teaching and testing, previous education, and age at onset of diabetes; each of these factors was significantly related to the level of learning of patients receiving unplanned instruction. 4. Diabetic patients taught by means of the "Diabetic Teaching Tool" cited the nurse as a valuable source of information regarding diabetic management more than five times as frequently as did patients receiving unplanned instruction. Based upon these findings, several implications for nursing practice and recommendations for further research were suggested.

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