Diabetes affects tens of thousands of school-aged children in the United States. The ability to appropriately manage their diabetes is essential to preventing life-threatening health complications if occurring during the school day. The purpose of this study was to assess school personnel's knowledge of diabetes (types 1 and 2) and perceived self-competence in performing diabetes management skills. A non-probability sample of elementary school personnel (N = 809) from five different school districts in Georgia completed a diabetes knowledge and competence questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and principal component analysis were performed to analyze the data. School personnel reported limited knowledge of diabetes basics and an overall low perceived self-competence in performing many of the diabetic management skills. Despite state legislation enacted to assist children with diabetes in school and available training for school districts, the study found that school personnel are not well trained and lack confidence in performing diabetes management.
Keywords: diabetes; perceived self-competence; professional preparation of school health personnel; school nursing; schools.