Lifestyle Changes in Diet and Physical Activities after Group Education for Type 2 Diabets - The Active Ingredient in the Education. A Qualitative Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOpen Journal of Nursing. 2017, (7), 1181-1195. 10.4236/ojn.2017.710086
Background: Diabetes self-management education (DSME) for patients with type 2 diabetes requires efficient teaching methods that make patients want to change lifestyle in terms of their diabetes. The study looks at what may be the active ingridient in this DSME. Objective: To explore how participants in DSME, with an interactive learning method, experienced changes in relation to diet and physical activity. Method: We studied possible changes in diet and physical activity by semi-structured individual interviews of 16 participants attending DSME. Results: Before the DSME, the participants felt insecure about what to eat, and they expressed little interest in changing their physical activity. Just after the DSME, they were more optimistic about diet because they had learned how to interpret food labels and compose their meals. Furthermore, they had experienced the benefit of physical activity in relation to their blood glucose levels. Behavior changes appeared to persist the following half year. We discuss the findings in light of the principles of interactive learning. The participants experienced an effect of their behavior changes, and blood glucose measurement was used as a tool to gain control and reach a state of well-being. Conclusion: From being insecure about what to eat, the patients acquired knowledge to handle their diet through the DSME. They learned how to compose their meals and use physical activity to regulate their blood glucose. We suggest that the interactive learning used in the DSME was an active ingredient that led to changes in behavior and should be considered as an educational method in DSME for patient with type 2 diabetes.