Evaluation of Glycemic Index Education in People Living with Type 2 Diabetes: Participant Satisfaction, Knowledge Uptake, and Application

Nutrients. 2020 Aug 12;12(8):2416. doi: 10.3390/nu12082416.


The glycemic index (GI) has been included in the Canadian clinical practice guidelines for type 2 diabetes (T2D) management since 2003, and even longer in other parts of the world (e.g., Australia). Despite this, dietitians have reported that GI is "too difficult for patients to understand and apply." They have called for diverse GI-utility data and evidence-informed education materials. To address these concerns, we developed and evaluated a GI education workshop and supporting materials, using the Kirkpatrick Model, for a T2D population. Participants (n = 29) with T2D attended a dietitian-facilitated workshop and received education materials. A mixed-form questionnaire (GIQ) and 3-day-diet-record were used to capture patient demographics, satisfaction, knowledge, and application, prior to and immediately after the workshop, 1-week, and 4-weeks post-education. Dietary GI was significantly lower at 1 and 4 weeks post-education (mean ± SEM; both 54 ± 1), compared to pre-education (58 ± 1; p ≤ 0.001). Participants (28/29) were satisfied with the intervention. The GI knowledge score was significantly higher post-education at baseline (83.5 ± 3.4%; p ≤ 0.001), week one (87.5 ± 2.6%; p = 0.035), and week four (87.6 ± 3.8%; p = 0.011) when compared to pre-education (53.6 ± 5.1%). A significant reduction in dietary GI was achieved by participants living with T2D, after completing the workshop, and they were able to acquire and apply GI knowledge in a relatively short period.

Keywords: Kirkpatrick Model; behavior change; diabetes; education evaluation; glycemic index OR glycaemic index; integrative knowledge translation strategy; nutrition education; patient-focused intervention; practice-based research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet, Diabetic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*