Effects of educational interventions in diabetes care: a meta-analysis of findings

Nurs Res. Jul-Aug 1988;37(4):223-30.


Forty-seven studies on the effects of patient teaching on knowledge, self-care behaviors, and metabolic control were analyzed using meta-analysis. Variables, such as type of patient instruction, type of research design, and overall quality of the study, also were analyzed. The 236 effect sizes had an unweighted mean of 0.91 (SD = 0.75) and a weighted mean of 0.33 (SD = 0.01). The weighted mean effect size for studies with control groups (N = 27) was 0.40 (SD = 0.05), and the weighted mean effect size for studies using the one group pretest-posttest design (N = 20) was 0.53 (SD = 0.05). Homogeneity analyses resulted in weighted mean effect size estimates for knowledge subvariables ranging from 0.41 to 0.91; for skill performance, 0.25 to 0.38; for compliance, 0.24 to 1.01; and for metabolic control, 0.06 to 0.84. Experimental mortality was the only variable significantly correlated with the overall weighted mean effect size, r = .52, p = .002. The results of this study clearly support the notion that patient teaching has positive outcomes in diabetic adults. Furthermore, methodological issues were important factors which influenced these findings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cognition
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Research Design
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Statistics as Topic*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A