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Diabetologic in-service education for health professionals from non-diabetological departments

Acta Diabetologica. 33(4): 277-283
Diabetologic in-service education for health professionals from non-diabetological departments
In order to test whether or not an in-service requalification course on diabetes care for health professionals (HP) of nondiabetological departments can enhance their level of knowledge about diabetes and the quality of care for diabetic inpatients admitted for reasons other than diabetes, we carried out a requalification course involving 171 HP (161 nurses and 10 midwives) from nondiabetological departments of our hospital. Areas of intervention were: general knowledge of diabetes (GKD), bedside monitoring of blood glucose (BMG), insulin preparation and administration (IPA), diagnosis and treatment of hypoglycemic crises (DTH), and hospitalization-related problems (HRP). HP, divided into groups of about 20 each, completed a basal evaluation by means of a 25-item multiple-choice questionnaire, and then attended six separate educative sessions, each focusing on one topic, consisting of a theory lesson and an interactive exercise of equivalent length. At the end of the course, HP were re-evaluated with the same questionnaire, and their skills in BMG, IPA and DTH were tested by means of specific operational checklists, which divided each complex operation into a sequence of single operations, and then compared them with those of a control group of untrained colleagues (CG). The global knowledge of diabetes after the course significantly improved, as gathered from the percentages of correct answers in each questionnaire (61.82% +- 23.64% vs 31.18% +- 20.00%; P lt 0.001); separate analysis of different areas evidenced improvements in GKD (72.28% +- 12.47% vs 31.46% +- 20.56%; P lt 0.01), BMG (68.77% +- 15.75% vs 37.50% +- 27.75%; P lt 0.01), IPA (72.02% +- 11.72% vs 33.45% +- 21.22%; P lt 0.05), and DTH (90.76% +- 6.86% vs 49.82% +- 26.68%; P lt 0.05), but not in HRP. Professional skills profiles of HP, evaluated by measuring the number of errors done performing each task, were significantly (P lt 0.001) better than those of CG, for BMG (1.09 +- 0.73 vs 4.91 +- 2.01), IPA (2.36 +- 1.64 vs 5.64 +- 2.25), and DHT (1.27 +- 0.94 vs 3.82 +- 1.12). Linear regression showed a significant (P lt 0.001) correlation of skills and knowledge after the course for BMG (r2=.49), IPA (r2=.53), and DTH (r2=.61). Positive although nonspecific indicators of outcomes of the course were the increase (of about 100%) of requests to our metabolic unit for diabetologic consultations from other departments as well as the mentioning of diabetes in the diagnosis of discharge, and the 200% increase in the consumption of sticks for BMG. The course produced a significant improvement of knowledge and skills on specific diabetologic items among participants.

Accession: 008459047

PMID: 9033968

DOI: 10.1007/bf00571565

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