Diabetes to Go: Knowledge- and Competency-Based Hospital Survival Skills Diabetes Education Program Improves Postdischarge Medication Adherence

Diabetes Educ. 2014 May;40(3):344-350. doi: 10.1177/0145721714523684. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of providing inpatient knowledge-based diabetes "survival skills" education. In addition, the preliminary impact of the survival skills education intervention on medication adherence and hospital plus emergency department admissions was assessed.

Methods: This study was a prospective nonrandomized pilot study conducted in an urban teaching hospital. In sum 125 adults consented-the majority of whom were African American women-with uncontrolled diabetes: blood glucose > 200 mg/dL or < 40 mg/dL upon admission to general medicine units. Mean admitting blood glucose was 283 ± 128 mg/dL. Evaluation measures were diabetes knowledge, medication adherence, and hospital admissions plus emergency department visits at and/or 3 months before baseline and at 2 weeks and 3 months postdischarge.

Results: There was improvement in diabetes knowledge and medication adherence, which was sustained to 3 months. A trend was observed toward reduction in emergency department and/or hospital admissions from 3 months preintervention to 3 months postdischarge for uncontrolled diabetes.

Conclusions: This knowledge-based program successfully provided survival skills education to hospital patients with uncontrolled diabetes and demonstrated preliminary evidence of a positive impact on medication adherence and a trend toward reduction in hospital and emergency department admissions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American
  • Competency-Based Education / methods*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Care / psychology*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents