Many psychiatric patients deal with not only their mental illness on a day-to-day basis, they also deal with medical comorbidities. Diabetes is a disease that is gaining prevalence around the world (Chehregosha et al., 2019). Currently, 34.1 million US adults have diabetes; this is 13% of the population. Shockingly, 7.3 million of those adults do not know they have it. For those with mental illness, the situation gets worse. Those diagnosed with schizophrenia have a 2- to 5-fold greater chance of being diagnosed with diabetes than those without (Suvisaari et al., 2016). As such, psychiatric patients have a need to learn how to manage their diabetes.
The research proposal I am submitting aims to study the effect of a diabetes education intervention on mean blood glucose levels during an inpatient psychiatric admittance. Patients who are admitted to the hospital with a diabetes diagnosis and assigned to the intervention group would have their blood glucose measured and recorded on day 2 of their stay. Immediately following, they would receive a 30-minute long educational intervention which covers healthy management of diabetes. The control group would have blood glucose levels checked, as standard of care, but would not receive the educational intervention. Then, on day 7, blood glucose levels would be recorded again and compared to the initial level. The working hypothesis is that diabetes education would have a positive effect on lowering blood glucose levels.
This study is expected to contribute to nursing knowledge the power of education to help patients manage this aspect of their health effectively. Psychiatric patients face many obstacles in managing their health, but education may hold the key to improving health outcomes for this population.
Chehregosha, H., Khamseh, M. E., Malek, M., Hosseinpanah, F., & Ismail-Beigi, F. (2019). A view beyond HbA1c: Role of continuous glucose monitoring. Diabetes Therapy, 10(3), 853–863. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13300-019-0619-1
Suvisaari, J., Keinänen, J., Eskelinen, S., & Mantere, O. (2016). Diabetes and schizophrenia. Current Diabetes Reports, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-015-0704-4