An Evaluation of a Worksite Diabetes Education Program for Employees with Diabetes at a Large Urban Medical Center

Renda, Susan, Nursing Practice - School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Baernholdt, Marianne, School of Nursing, University of Virginia

Strategies to improve health and diabetes self-management need to increase as the number of people with diabetes increases. In the worksite, employers experience an increase in number of employees with diabetes that leads to rising healthcare costs and impairments to productivity. Diabetes education can be delivered at the worksite as employers support interventions to help employees. Using Diffusion of Innovations Theory (Rogers, 1995) as a guide, a worksite diabetes education program was instituted as a pilot project at a large urban medical center. Employees were encouraged to come to the Diabetes Center at the medical institution for diabetes education with individual appointments or classes specifically for employees. Twenty participants successfully completed diabetes education with a certified diabetes educator. Participants chose a diabetes self-management goal and could anonymously evaluate their satisfaction with the program. Glycemic control measured by glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C), days absent from work, and number of hospital/emergency department visits from three months before the education were compared to three months following the education using dependent t-tests. Mean A1C declined significantly from 8.5% to 7.5%. Over half of the participants attained at least 50% progress towards their chosen self-management goal and 17 completed evaluations which indicated full satisfaction with the education. The number of days absent trended downward, but longer observation may be necessary to determine statistically significant reduction in days absent and improvement in hospital/emergency room visit occurrence. The positive clinical results of this pilot projects suggest that diabetes worksite education is effective at the medical institution and could continue to reach more employees. Further study is recommended with a larger number of employees and increased length of time. The focus of study also could include examination of comorbid conditions and attention to groups most at risk.

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
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