Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) requires continuous medical care, patients' self-management, education, and adherence to prescribed medication to reduce the risk of long-term complications. The aim of this study was to assess the benefits of an education program on diabetes, patient self-management, adherence to medication, anxiety, depression and glycemic control in type 2 diabetics in Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: This was a prospective study, conducted among 104 diabetic patients at a major tertiary hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between May 2011 and October 2012. Education materials given to diabetic patients included pamphlets/handouts written in Arabic, the national language. Special videotapes about DM were made and distributed to all participants. In addition, specific educational programs through the diabetes educators and one-on-one counseling sessions with the doctor were also arranged. Patients were interviewed using a structured interview schedule both during the baseline, and after 6 months of the program. The interview schedule included, socio-demographics, clinical characteristics, diabetes self-management, adherence to medication, anxiety, and depression. Glycemic control was considered poor, if hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was ≥ 7%.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 57.3 ± 14.4 years. Seventy one were males (68.3%) and 33 (31.7%) were females. After six months of the diabetes education program, there were significant improvements in patients' dietary plan (P = 0.0001), physical exercise (P = 0.0001), self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) (P = 0.0001), HbA1c (P = 0.04), adherence to medication (P = 0.007), and depression (P = 0.03).
Conclusions: Implementation of education programs on diabetes among type 2 diabetic patients is associated with better outcomes such as their dietary plan, physical exercise, SMBG, adherence to medication, HbA1c and depression.
Keywords: Anxiety; Saudi Arabia; depression; diabetes education; diabetes self-management.