Diabetes: Group Education

Background on Group Education

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expandWhat are group education strategies?

collapseWhat are group education strategies?

  • Through group education interventions, trained diabetes education instructors or facilitators (e.g., dietitians, exercise physiologists, health educators) provide information and resources as part of group interactions to increase knowledge, skills, and support related to diabetes prevention and management.
  • Group education interventions may include presentations as well as individual or group activities that occur in classrooms (e.g., schools, colleges or universities), community centers, clinics, worksites, faith-based settings, camps, and other desired locations. Guided by a detailed curriculum, these interventions can:
    • highlight the association between diabetes and health outcomes (e.g., foot problems, kidney problems, vision problems, cardiovascular disease),
    • promote behavioral change for specific risk factors (e.g., eating balanced meals, getting physical activity, quitting smoking),
    • improve knowledge and skills related to diabetes management (e.g., monitoring glucose levels, taking medications) and challenges with making lifestyle changes (e.g., skill-building to avoid eating too much sugar or fat), and
    • influence social support or group norms (e.g., creating walking groups to get regular physical activity).

expandHow does group education impact diabetes related behaviors?

collapseHow does group education impact diabetes related behaviors?

  • For many individuals, the group is a natural setting. People are often taught in groups, live in groups, and play in groups. Social interaction can be a key aspect of the developmental process as individuals learn by observing others and the results of their actions.
  • Group education sessions can be designed to meet the needs of general audiences or specific groups (e.g., “targeted messages”).  For example, the education sessions can address the special needs of populations who are at risk for diabetes (e.g., those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of diabetes), those who already have diabetes and struggle with particular health concerns (e.g., obesity, foot problems, or vision problems), or those of a particular racial or ethnic group that is at higher risk (e.g., Native Americans, African Americans, or Hispanic or Latino individuals).
  • Group education sessions can be most effective if they take into consideration both individual characteristics (e.g., knowledge, skills) and group circumstances (e.g., social norms, peer pressure). For example, it may be more helpful to have different group members talk about how monitoring their glucose levels helped them to feel a greater sense of control over their diabetes, as opposed to simply describing the process of monitoring glucose levels.

expandHow can I use group education strategies in my diabetes intervention?

collapseHow can I use group education strategies in my diabetes intervention?

  • Group education interventions may be incorporated into existing education interventions (e.g., health education classes in schools, health promotion activities at a senior living facility) or held entirely on their own.

expandWhat type of group education is best for my asthma intervention?

collapseWhat type of group education is best for my asthma intervention?

  • There are many different kinds of group interactions that serve various purposes:
    • Groups set up primarily for diabetes prevention (i.e., education or skills training to encourage balanced nutritious eating patterns, regular physical activity, and quitting tobacco use in order to minimize risk of getting diabetes).
    • Groups set up for diabetes management and concerns for specific health conditions and their improvement (i.e., education or skills training to help individuals monitor and regulate their glucose levels, lose weight, or address diabetes-related problems with feet, vision, or kidneys).
    • Groups related to general life adjustments, self-management, and lifestyle (i.e., education or skills training to increase individual’s capacity to regulate their glucose levels through monitoring, medication, balanced nutritious eating patterns, physical activity, and quitting tobacco use).
    • Groups with other quality of life concerns such as improved appearance (e.g., weight management), increased energy, or supported spiritual beliefs (e.g., connection between physical, mental and spiritual health).

expandWith whom do I need to work to develop a group education strategy for my asthma intervention?

collapseWith whom do I need to work to develop a group education strategy for my asthma intervention?

  • To develop your group education intervention, you will need to work with experienced diabetes educators and you may also need to work with senior centers/independent living facilities, community centers, community organizations (American Diabetes Association), coalitions, schools, worksites, health departments, researchers, community members, and community leaders.

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