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Diabetes Educ. 2006 May-Jun;32(3):359-62, 364-6, 368-72.

A study of certified diabetes educators: influences and barriers.

Author information

The Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center (Ms Funnell, Dr Anderson)
The Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (Ms Funnell, Dr Anderson, Ms Nwankwo, Ms Gillard, Dr Fitzgerald)
The Cancer Research and Treatment Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (Dr Two Feathers)



There were 2 related goals for this study. The first purpose was to describe the structure (type, staffing, and number of educational sessions provided), process (preferred learning approaches), and outcome measures commonly used to provide patient education. The second purpose was to identify the influences, resources, and constraints that affect and alter the attitudes and practices of diabetes educators.


A 30-item questionnaire that addressed 4 areas--demographics, practice characteristics, education program structure, and educational processes--was mailed to a sample of American Association of Diabetes Educators members. Three hundred sixty-one registered nurse and registered dietician certified diabetes educators completed the questionnaire and were included in the final analysis.


This survey indicated that this group of certified diabetes educators has incorporated new research findings and innovative teaching methods into their practices. They experience few barriers and tend to make changes in their attitudes and practices based on scientific and experiential evidence. The 3 most highly rated influences on these changes were related to patient responses to their teaching, followed by continuing education conferences and new research findings.


Based on these findings, providing continuing education that first and foremost incorporates experience-based examples of effective strategies supported by research published in professional journals appears to have the most influence on the practice of educators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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