Purpose: Diabetes self-management education and home visits have been found to improve clinical outcomes in individuals living with diabetes. The purpose of this pilot project was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of conducting self-management education in patients' homes.
Methods: Baseline biometric data was collected from a cohort of adult patients with diabetes. Home visits to 19 patients were conducted by doctoral students from Rutgers University School of Nursing. The visits included knowledge assessment, review of foods in the home, diabetes self-management education, and teaching the proper use of monitoring tools such as the glucometer and blood pressure monitor. Biomarkers were obtained post-intervention and were compared to baseline biomarkers. Descriptive lifestyle data was collected and opportunities for customized patient education were provided.
Results: The biomarkers improved overall during the four months after the education intervention. The mean A1C reduced 12% (p=0.0107), the mean glucose reduced 12% (p=0.0994), the mean BMI reduced 2% (p=0.1490), the systolic pressure reduced 1% (p=0.4196), and the diastolic pressure remained stable. Specific goal setting further increased the improvement in the area the individual planned to address.
Conclusions: This project supports prior studies that found that in-home educational programs can improve the self-management of diabetes and lead to improvement in health indicators. The benefits of the study included personal attention in ensuring the correct use of home health monitoring devices, building self-management confidence, and identifying treatment barriers that may not be easily discerned in a clinic setting.
Keywords: chronic disease management; diabetes; diabetes self-management education; dsme; home visit; home-based.