Effects of a Health Literacy Promotion Program on Health Behaviors in Older Adults with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes
The purpose of this quasi-experimental research was to study the effects of a health literacy program on health behaviors; specifically, controlling blood sugar levels in the elderly with type 2 uncontrolled diabetes. The sample consisted of 60-69 year-olds, both male and female, who had been diagnosed with diabetes and had HbA1c ≥ 7% within the previous 6 months, or with fasting blood sugar levels (FBS) ≥ 130 mg/dl for 6-8 hours in 2 consecutive tests, and who receive treatment at 2 district health-promoting hospitals in Nonthaburi province. Two hospitals were purposively selected, one to act as the experimental group and one as the comparison group. Then, 30 study subjects who met the inclusion criteria were randomly selected from each hospital. The experimental group received a program to promote health literacy in relation to blood sugar control behaviors. The program consisted of four 90-minute sessions, carried out one time per week, and a 10-minute follow-up phone call in the 6th week. Data related to health behaviors for controlling blood sugar levels were collected by interview questionnaires in Weeks 1, 4, and 8, with content validity (CVI) measured at 0.85 and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient at 0.78. Data were analyzed using the Chi-square test, Fisher's Exact test, Repeated measure one-way ANOVA, Post-hoc Bonferroni, and Independent t-test.
The results revealed that, in the experimental group, the mean scores of health behaviors in the control of blood sugar levels after the experiment and the follow up period were higher than before the experiment, and with respect to the comparison group, with statistical significance (p-value < 0.05).
The study findings supported the effects of the program on health behaviors in the control of blood sugar levels and can be further applied to promote self-care in the elderly with type 2 diabetes.
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