Purpose of Study The Lummi Tribal Reservation has very high rates of type II diabetes in the community, and a lack of compliance from patients has amplified this problem. A community project was designed to help educate diabetic patients on the reservation about hemoglobin A1C and diabetes management in the hope of improving compliance.
Methods Discussions with patients, physicians, and a public health nurse certified as a diabetes educator led to the conclusion that many patients did not have a proper understanding of HbA1C, one of the major markers for tracking diabetes management. A literature search was done to investigate past diabetes education projects on Native American reservations.
Results Patients with few regular visits to the clinic were identified as the most likely group to have poorly managed blood sugars and were the target population for the program. A brochure was designed for patients upon visit to the clinic, and a short one-on-one visit was conducted with several of these patients.
Conclusion Getting poorly regulated Native American patients to take initiative in their own diabetes management is a difficult problem to address. Helping these patients to better understand their illness may be the first step to better self-management.
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