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The obstacles to diabetes self-management education and support from healthcare professionals’ perspectives: a nationwide survey

Authors Preechasuk L, Sriussadaporn P, Likitmaskul S

Received 25 November 2018

Accepted for publication 8 March 2019

Published 16 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 717—727


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Steven F. Abcouwer

Lukana Preechasuk,1 Pornsri Sriussadaporn,1 Supawadee Likitmaskul1,2

1Siriraj Diabetes Center of Excellence, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; 2Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Purpose: This study identified the obstacles to diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) from healthcare professionals’ perspectives in Thailand.
Patients and methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at 613 hospitals throughout Thailand from December 2016 to March 2017. A self-completion questionnaire on the characteristics of, and obstacles to, diabetes education was sent to administrators, doctors, and diabetes educators (DEs). The views of DEs at public and private hospitals on the characteristics of diabetes education were compared. The obstructing factors reported by administrators, doctors, and DEs were also analyzed.
Results: The overall response was 76.6%; the response rates of DEs, doctors, and administrators were 85.6%, 58.9%, and 46.5%, respectively. Although the respondents reported that 75% of patients received diabetes education, only 30% of the DEs believed it was successful. An individual-patient education approach was used by 95.1% of public and 81.4% of private hospitals. The median durations of the individual education sessions were 15 (IQR 10, 28) and 30 (IQR 15, 30) minutes for public and private hospitals, respectively. The DE workload at public hospitals was 3 times heavier than at private hospitals (60 [IQR 30, 140] vs 20 [IQR 10, 33] patients per week; p<0.001). Obstacles to diabetes education were a lack of time due to other duties, a lack of skills in assisting patients with behavior change, inadequate DE numbers, patient disinterest in diabetes education, and patient reluctance to change unhealthy behaviors.
Conclusions: High workloads, unclear DE roles, and a lack of DE skills to support patients with behavior change are the primary obstacles to diabetes education.

Keywords: diabetes education, diabetes self-management education, obstacle

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