Addressing the Growing Diabetes Crisis in North Carolina
In North Carolina, the diabetes epidemic is observed to increase rapidly, posing a great concern. Statistical data from researchers show that the figures had doubled within ten years. This disease epidemic has been labeled the seventh life-claiming disease in the state. Generally, the African American group has been discovered to have a life expectancy below the natural age. Besides other factors, lifestyle factors are also significant in triggering diabetes within the human body. Paying no attention to physical activities, unhealthy food, and eating habits are some contributors and causes to the epidemic within the state of Carolina.
Following a research report conducted in this state, diabetes has been linked to several other ailments that affect the heart, kidneys, nerves, and other vital organs. In North Carolina, disparities of diabetes are quite costly, subjecting victims of this ailment to more complications (North Carolina Division of Public Health, Diabetes Prevention and Control, 2013). Statistical data indicates that compared to females, the male gender had higher diabetes prevalence and that compared to the whites, the prevalence was highest among the African American male groups.
- Establish an education program on diabetes and ways of control.
- To raise awareness on preventive care practices, especially among the African American male groups.
- Provide necessary knowledge and skills and create confidence among the affected in managing their diabetes.
- Offer support to those who care for patients with diabetes and provide guidelines on services.
- Reduce the number of people with diabetes and its related complications.
- Increased awareness of preventive care practices for diabetes.
Concerning the goals that are set and objectives of the program, the overall goal is to reduce the fatalities that result from the complications developed from diabetes. In the management of diabetes, professional education is vital and may be facilitated further through the issuance of handouts to victims as well as those who care for them. The handout is crucial in their daily clinical practices. These handouts must provide them with references as they strive to manage their diabetes.
The education program intends to achieve its goals by influencing diabetes patients into accepting new responsibilities and raising their keenness to learn more about the management of this specific ailment. Depending on the situation, this also applies to those responsible for caring for such patients. This is important as it means better and improved health outcomes. To achieve this, patients ought to have enough understanding of their diabetes. Considering that the program addresses the entire African American group, the overall outcome would be improved diabetes control, reduced risks of complications for the affected and better preventive measures for those not affected. These goals are, therefore, attainable despite the challenges likely to be encountered, especially for the affected.
Theories and Models
Application of appropriate health education theories or models while establishing and conducting health education programs is necessary for achieving pleasant outcomes in any case whatsoever. When conducting such educative programs, one should consider their audience and several other factors that could determine the applicability of any theories or models. In the case of the male group in their 40’s, the locus of control theory applies (Peters et al., 2016). The theory explains that the willingness of an individual to dedicate their effort to managing their health status, which is diabetes, then their personal beliefs and perception matter. Some believe that health could be an issue of personal control, while others believe it is outside their control and refer to it as either luck or fate. This, therefore, implies that in the selected age group, the facilitator should strive to influence his audience’s internal orientation to positively impact their health outcomes.
The Trans theoretical model of change describes the stages an individual will likely go through in their transition. Considering the group has people of different perceptions and beliefs, some may take longer to accept their situation and thus longer to begin to take action towards maintaining and improving their health status. In the case of the non-affected group, the health belief model greatly applies. The model is necessary in influencing preventative actions as we have varying perceptions of susceptibility to diabetes, the benefits of such actions for the non-affected and the potential severity of their diabetes in the case of the affected.
The theory of reasoned action determines an individual’s attitude toward a behavior. This depends on how much one values the outcomes of a certain behavior and their beliefs in the same. The facilitator should also keep in mind the social learning and diffusion theory. As it is, behavioral change relies on personal factors, environmental influences and behavioral attributes. At the same time, new ideas or practices introduced by actions constitute environmental influences. The theories can impact more knowledge in various ways, creating health literacy in the target population. By influencing different practices, they can also reduce inappropriate cultures that could cause or worsen the health status, causing diabetes-related complications and, consequently, death.
The program will provide online resources to improve access to diabetes management information. It will also provide training on care practices for all types of diabetes.
- Mode of Delivery
The program will provide both online and physical platforms for information delivery. In partnership with young organizations, it will set up facilities where the education process will proceed besides providing online additional information. Delivery of information will be through offering diabetes and general health talks. In this way, the program intends to communicate knowledge and facts. Participatory lectures may also be conducted in the case of smaller groups. Lectures were preferred to symposiums to avoid subjecting the audience to listening to different communicators. This method considers the high age group with high educational qualifications, too. Exhibit presentations are important for practical sessions, and posters are also a consideration in this program. Online training with certification will be offered to healthcare professionals to enhance their competence in diabetes care and management. This is an acute intervention at the local level, exempting the online training.
Implementation of the program has its anticipated challenges, like any other program or project. Some of the challenges include poor community involvement, where there is little turnout at the sites of the education programs. This can, however, be addressed by creating more awareness of the programs through disseminating flyers and raising banners along roadsides (Liburd, 2010). Lack of proper funding for the program’s expansion may also be challenging. Other barriers would be physiological, cultural, psychological, and environmental barriers from the target population. However, These two challenges cannot be fully controlled; instead, the associated impacts can be reduced.
- Measure of Effectiveness
The effectiveness of the health education program will be measured through the use of questionnaires. Confidential questionnaires will be administered to measure individual health-related knowledge and behavior changes. Data will also be collected from healthcare service providers to assess changes in how patients of diabetes embrace diabetes care and management practices. In this way, it is possible to evaluate whether the effects and complications resulting from diabetes disease have reduced.
1. Liburd, L. C. (2010). Diabetes and health disparities: Community-based approaches for racial and ethnic populations. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
2. North Carolina Division of Public Health, Diabetes Prevention and Control. (2013). The Burden of Diabetes in North Carolina. Brief 2013 Report.
3. Peters, T. R., Snively, B. M., Suerken, C. K., Bischoff, W., Vannoy, L., Blakeney, E., Poehling, K. A. (2016). Estimating the Burden of Pandemic Infectious Disease: The Case of the Second Wave of Pandemic Influenza H1N1 in Forsyth County, North Carolina. North Carolina Medical Journal, 77(1), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.18043/ncm.77.1.15