Structured behavioral programs and individualized educational were found to be effective in fighting diabetes, according to two different controlled trials published this week in Archives of Internal Medicine.
In one report, Katie Weinger, Ed.D., of the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, and colleagues, evaluated the efficacy of a behavioral intervention for improving glycemic control among patients with long-duration poorly controlled diabetes. The study found that participants in a structured behavioral group showed the most glycemic improvements.
“A structured, cognitive behavioral program is more effective than two control interventions in improving glycemia in adults with long-duration diabetes,” concluded Weinger and her colleagues.
In a second report, JoAnn Sperl-Hillen, M.D., of HealthPartners Research Foundation and HealthPartners Medical Group, Minneapolis, and colleagues evaluated a total of 623 adults from Minnesota and New Mexico with type 2 diabetes and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) concentrations of 7 percent or higher. Patients who received specific individualized education controlled their glucose better than patients in group education.
“In conclusion, among patients with type 2 diabetes of relatively long duration and HbA1c levels of 7 percent or higher, short-term glucose control improved more in those receiving individual diabetes education than in those receiving group diabetes education or assigned to no education,” wrote the authors.
Locally in Lancaster County, both group sessions and individual educational sessions are available.
The Outpatient Diabetes Education Program at Lancaster General Hospital (LGH) offers classes for diabetics on a wide range of topics. Topics range from dietary concerns to foot care to how to properly take insulin. They offer a variety of choices. A 10 hour Group Diabetes Education Class covers all aspects and is nationally recognized. It is broken into four sessions and costs $1,240. Check with your insurance to see if they will cover all or part of the cost. A four hour class – Mini Group Diabetes Education Class – is also offered. This nationally recognized class is taught by certified diabetes educators (CDEs), registered nurses and registered dieticians. It is broken into two two-hour sessions and covers nutrition, exercise, medications, monitoring blood sugar and foot care. It costs $496. Normally a one on one consultation follow up is expected. That follow up will cost an additional $236.
LGH also offers individual education and consultations. These sessions can provide you with information regarding, but not limited to, insulin management, monitoring glucose, weight management, carbohydrate counting, nutrition and foot care. One on one consultations cost $236 an hour.
For more information on the Outpatient Diabetes Education Program you can contact them directly at 717-544-5923. A referral from your personal physician will be required as well to start the program.
Penn State University, through its Cooperative Extensions, also offers classes on “Dining with Diabetes”. The class is concerned with healthy eating choices and diabetes management. There is a small charge for this class and financial aid funds are available for those who qualify. While there are no scheduled classes in Lancaster County, there are many others scheduled throughout the Commonwealth. Class fees and times vary per Extension Office. Click HERE to search for your local class.
Support groups are also another venue to gather information concerning diabetes and diabetes management. Most hospitals offer this resource, including LGH, Lancaster Regional Hospital and Heart of Lancaster Hospital.