This innovative program, combining group education and telephone intervention, leads to notable reductions in HbA1c levels, enhanced psychological outlook, sustained self-care empowerment, and better adherence to self-care routines.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) is a chronic disease influenced by lifestyle, economic, and social factors. The growing prevalence of DM2 highlights the need for patient-centered behavioral programs emphasizing prevention, communication, and participation. Combining group education with telephone intervention can empower patients to manage their condition, resulting in improved health outcomes. A randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a behavioral program on patients with DM2. The study was published in the journal Ciencia & Saude Coletiva and found that the program, consisting of group education and telephone intervention, resulted in a significant reduction in mean HbA1c values, improvement in psychological attitudes, maintenance of empowerment for self-care, and increased adherence to self-care practices.
Behavioral Program Results in Significant Reduction in Mean HbA1c Values
The study found that participants in the intervention group (IG) significantly reduced mean HbA1c values, while the control group (CG) showed a statistical difference between the mean values of HbA1c at the end of the study. The program was effective in reducing this variable, which is an important indicator for monitoring diabetes.
Empowerment Program Improves Attitudes and Self-Care in Diabetes
Participants in the IG showed an increase in the average scores on the psychological attitude scale and the empowerment scale after the program. In contrast, the CG showed significant evidence of a decrease in the attitude scale score at the end of the study and no change in the empowerment scale. Improvement in empowerment over the twelve months of follow-up favored the modification of attitudes, which propitiates the breaking of emotional barriers resulting from the perception of improved health and the acquisition of self-care skills.
Behavioral Strategies Improve Self-Care Practices in People with Diabetes
Participants in the IG showed a significant improvement in adherence to self-care practices after the program, while the CG did not show a significant change in the score. The results of this study corroborate those of other clinical trials that have found that behavioral strategies, such as telephone intervention and group education, promote improvement in self-care practices and overall health.
Study Identifies Limitations in Behavioral Strategies for Diabetes Patients
The study had limitations, such as the lack of delimitation of behavioral strategies, group education, and telephone intervention by cluster. Also, the difficulty in scheduling the availability of spaces in the UBS and absenteeism on the part of patients on the day of the group meetings were limitations. Lastly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, anthropometric data at the end of the study were not collected, which makes it unfeasible to evaluate them.
By addressing psychosocial, behavioral, and clinical elements, these behavioral programs enable patients to make informed decisions and improve self-efficacy. Continuous interventions are necessary to maintain patient empowerment and foster positive attitudes toward managing the chronic condition.
Nunes, L. B., Santos, J. C. D., Reis, I. A., & Torres, H. C. (2023). [Evaluation of the behavioral program in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized clinical trial]. Cien Saude Colet, 28(3), 851-862. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232023283.10102022 (Avaliação do programa comportamental em diabetes mellitus tipo 2: ensaio clínico randomizado.)