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Diabetes Educ. 1999 Nov-Dec;25(6 Suppl):7-15.

Diabetes patient education research: an integrative literature review.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Graduate School of Nursing, Worcester 01655, USA.



The purpose of this study is to summarize the accumulated state of knowledge in the area of diabetes patient education research and highlight important issues that research has left unanswered.


An integrative literature review was conducted on the topic of diabetes patient education between the years 1985 and 1998. Keywords used in the computerized search were diabetes mellitus, patient education, health education, research, and behavior change. The databases searched were MEDLINE, CINAHL, HealthSTAR, EMBASE, and CHID-HE. A total of 78 papers were reviewed.


Most studies lacked a theoretical framework and the majority of studies were conducted in an outpatient setting. HbA1c was the most frequently employed outcome measure, with little, if any, description of the interventions.


Much has been learned in terms of the effectiveness of diabetes education on improving knowledge. However, other topic areas and outcomes need further exploration.

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