Patient Education: Prepare to Live with Diabetes

Table of Contents


Living with diabetes is not an easy task. Unfortunately, no cure can be offered to patients in order to eliminate it completely. However, there are many ways of how it can be managed, including proper feeding, regular physical exercises, weight control, and even emotional assessment (Powers et al., 2017). Diabetes affects 8% of Americans and 4% of the UK population, including about 30 million people who know about their diagnosis and about 8 million people who are still unaware that they have diabetes (Bannister et al., 2014). This diagnosis may influence the quality of life in many different ways, and people should know how to deal with it, take courses, and support each other in their intentions to survive. Human life is priceless, and diabetes only increases its cost. Therefore, people have to learn how to live with diabetes, and this project aims at developing a lesson in terms of which different learners, including patients, their families, and the medical staff, will be educated about the peculiar features of diabetes on the basis of a cognitive learning theory the goal of which is to determine behavioral changes.

Title of the Lesson and Learners

The title of the lesson is “Get Prepared to Live with Diabetes”. Such a topic is effective as it focuses on different groups of people. First, patients are the direct learners who have to participate in this project as they have to deal with a number of changes in their lives. In addition, to support and clear explanations, they have to be guided on how to be treated, what rules should be followed, and why all these changes cannot be ignored. Their behavior is the key to diabetes management, and education should begin with the establishment of behavioral standards and expectations. For example, Adams et al. (2013) offer diabetes self-management education as an approach to teach patients. Li et al. (2014) also underline the importance of patient involvement in care management. Though it is not the only option, some of its elements can be rather helpful regarding the participation of patients, their level of knowledge, and personal attitudes to their conditions.

The second group of learners includes family members of the patients who have diabetes. The role of a family in care cannot be ignored. Diabetes is a chronic disease that can be developed in a variety of forms. Sometimes, people may follow simple prescriptions and avoid serious complications. In some cases, even the most careful attention to the condition cannot protect against the development of problems. Family members can support patients emotionally and physically. They can report on the recent health changes and cooperate with nurses. Still, they have to be guided on how to take each step and not to do harm to diabetes patients.

Finally, medical workers, including doctors who make a diagnosis and establish treatment plans and nurses who provide care and support in case of emergency, have to know their duties and assist other learners. They should understand that their task is to perform two main functions: to be good tutors for their patients and explain each detail of disease and to be attentive learners to gather enough information about patients, offer the best treatment options, and consider such factors as personal habits, social status, or family history in care.

Educational Setting

An educational setting is a place that is offered to a learner to have their educational experience. The best examples of such settings are public schools, colleges, and universities. The peculiar feature of this project is that the majority of learners are usually patients who have diabetes. They may be in need of professional help or a physical examination at any time. Therefore, it is better to avoid the possibility of negative outcomes or the inability to reach a hospital in time. The recommended educational setting for staff development and patient/family education is a hospital (Powers et al., 2017). To be more exact, it should be a hall for special meetings and lectures that is usually present in many local hospitals. This choice is rational because it presupposes the presence of doctors and medical help in emergency cases and the possibility to have the required materials, equipment, and even the histories of patients to be used as evidence in this lesson.

Learner Assessments

The assessment of students’ learning is an integral part of any educational process. However, in this case, the situation differs from ordinary classroom activities as these learners are not ordinary students with their demand to develop skills and gain knowledge. Learners are the people who face a certain challenge in their life and have to clarify how to live with it. Diabetes cannot be cured but can be managed (Li et al., 2014). It cannot be prevented, but people can get prepared for it. Therefore, learners’ assessments should be based on their readiness to learn, their current educational level, and their development. Tests or exams are not appropriate. It is required to identify what patients already know and what they want or have to know. Interviews with open-ended questions can be effective assessment tools that discover some facts about patients’ health and social conditions, families, personal and professional goals, and expectations. Checklists and questionnaires may substitute interviews. Compared to interviews where learners share their knowledge and attitudes, the peculiarity of questionnaires is the creation of certain boundaries for learners. Still, the core aspect of this learning process is self-assessment.

Purpose and Rationale for Selecting a Topic/Disease

There are many reasons why this topic and diabetes as the main disease is chosen for a lesson discussion. First, it is necessary to remember that this diagnosis changes millions of lives regardless of their age, race, or nationality annually. People have to be aware of the signs and effects of this disease in order to be ready to recognize it at its early stage and make use of first-line therapies in the form of metformin (Bannister et al., 2014). The second reason is the fact that diabetes is one of the diseases where family care and support play a significant role. Therefore, the number of learners can be considerably increased, depending on the types of families and the desires of people to participate in treatment. Finally, self-management and daily care are the core principles in dealing with diabetes (Adams et al., 2013). Patient involvement can change the process of healing both physically and emotionally.

Theoretical Basis for Teaching

The choice of teaching approaches used in the lesson “Get Prepared to Live with Diabetes” is an important step for any teacher. Regarding the fact that three audiences have to be taken into consideration, a theoretical basis should determine the way of how people understand their problems, establish learning goals, and define expected outcomes. Among the existing variety of theories for learning and teaching, the decision to use cognitive theory is based. There are many concepts and approaches to the implementation of cognitive theories. In this project, the concept of behavioral dissonance will be discussed. This theory is preferable in situations when people try to do something that is not quite inconsistent with their values and beliefs (Bagnasco et al., 2017). This theoretical approach helps to reduce the level of discomfort and identify the strategies to make correct decisions. Educators who prefer this approach try to use interviews and direct communication with their learners as it is a good chance to understand their needs and recognize their concerns. This project is patient-centered, and the chosen theory covers the main demands of the work.


In general, this project aims at defining the main issues in cooperating with different learners. It is not an easy task to create one common lesson for three different audiences. Still, this lesson focuses on health and one particular disease that changes the quality of life. It is hard to live with diabetes, but it is possible. People should know their options or help other people come to the conclusion that diabetes is just a condition, but not a death sentence. Cognitive-behavioral theory is a useful tool for learners and teachers as it can be used to guide people, explain changes, and evaluate outcomes. The peculiar feature of this lesson is that it is learner-centered with a number of learning activities that contribute to problem solution, decision making, question formulation, and discussions.


Adams, K. F., Sperl-Hillen, J. M., Davis, H., Spain, C. V., Hanson, A. M., Fernandes, O. D.,… Beaton, S. (2013). Factors influencing patient completion of diabetes self-management education. Diabetes Spectrum, 26(1), 40-45.

Bagnasco, A., Timmins, F., de Vries, J. M., Aleo, G., Zanini, M., Catania, G., & Sasso, L. (2017). Understanding and addressing missed care in clinical placements – Implications for nursing students and nurse educators. Nurse Education Today, 56, 1-5

Bannister, C. A., Holden, S. E., Jenkins‐Jones, S., Morgan, C. L., Halcox, J. P., Schernthaner, G.,… Currie, C. J. (2014). Can people with type 2 diabetes live longer than those without? A comparison of mortality in people initiated with metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapy and matched, non‐diabetic controls. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 16(11), 1165-1173.

Li, R., Shrestha, S. S., Lipman, R., Burrows, N. R., Kolb, L. E., & Rutledge, S. (2014). Diabetes self-management education and training among privately insured persons with newly diagnosed diabetes – United States, 2011–2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(46), 1045-1049.

Powers, M. A., Bardsley, J., Cypress, M., Duker, P., Funnell, M. M., Fischl, A. H.,… Vivian, E. (2017). Diabetes self-management education and support in type 2 diabetes: A joint position statement of the American diabetes association, the American association of diabetes educators, and the academy of nutrition and dietetics. The Diabetes Educator, 43(1), 40-53.

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