Diabetes education remains crucial for the treatment and prevention of diabetes complications. There is limited knowledge of long-term information retention or what are resultant behaviour changes due to diabetes education. There is also limited guidance for the most effective education methods to affect behaviour change. This systematic review evaluated the findings of the literary body on the impact that education practices have on behaviour change, knowledge or participant satisfaction.
Databases Medline, CINHAL, Science Direct, EMBASE, Web of Science and Cochrane were searched for articles investigating behaviour change, knowledge, or participant satisfaction in connection with diabetes education. The two reviewers screened articles independently against inclusion criteria and educational methods, and outcomes and timeframes were extracted from qualifying papers. Data were synthesized against Kirkpatrick’s Hierarchy of Learning.
Discussion and clinical relevance
In total, 849 studies were found using primary search criteria, of those all but 39 studies were disqualified using inclusion criteria. Of the 39 qualifying studies, 18 were randomised trials, nine were cross sectional studies and the remaining studies included quasi-experimental, observational and repeated measures design studies. Method of education included verbal, written and visual modes, delivered by both multi-disciplinary teams and single health care practitioners. Topics of education included general diabetes complications, foot complications, diet, physical activity and self-foot care. Outcomes reviewed included diabetes knowledge, foot care knowledge and HbA1C levels post education.
Diabetes education is ubiquitous in diabetes treatment however it remains unclear if patients retain the educational information provided or if the information retained causes behavioural change which in turn results in a decrease to complications.