Self-Management Plays a Key Role in Controlling Diabetes

by Misty Kevech, HHQI RN Project Coordinator

161843047November is American Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day is November 14, 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2016) reports there are over 29 million Americans living with diabetes and 86 million with prediabetes. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death which is under-reported (CDC, 2014). Complications from diabetes adds a great burden to patients, families, and our health systems. Diabetes is the leading cause of:

  • Kidney failure
  • Non-traumatic lower-limb amputations
  • New cases of blindness in adults

Socioeconomic status and other underserved population factors can greatly affect the management of diabetes and preventing complications. There can be many reasons that affect a patient’s ability to self-manage, including lack of fresh foods (food deserts) in both urban and rural areas, lack of or inadequate transportation assistance for medical appointments, and health literacy issues, just to name a few.

Home health agencies (HHA) are a great setting to teach patient diabetes self-management to prevent incidence, exacerbations, complications, and deaths. There are plenty of evidence-based tools and resources to assist HHAs and their clinicians to assist with develop culturally appropriate plans of actions with patients. HHQI’s Disease Management: Diabetes Best Practice Intervention Package (BPIP) provides evidence-based practices, tools, and resources for caring for your patients with diabetes.

Adult learners, including patients and clinicians, learn better if information is presented in various formats. HHQI offers free multimedia modules as a way to supplement education. Each module and can be downloaded from the HHQI website to your laptop or tablet and played in the patient’s home. The modules are also available on HHQI National Campaign’s YouTube channel.


11-8-16-foot-diabetesThere are two clinician multimedia modules to support clinical diabetes management (about 15 minutes each).


prediabetes-hhqi-resource-thumbnailThere are several patient multimedia modules and videos to support or reinforce diabetes management education (about 5 minutes each).

  • Prediabetes and Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes
    • Provides information on prediabetes – what it is and risk factors.
    • Discusses signs/symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the need for medical follow-up.
  • Healthy Eating
    • Learn simple healthy eating practices that can be included in every day meals.
    • Learn how to read and understand food labels to make good food choices.
  • Diabetes Self-Care
    • Discusses the importance of regular exams and tests including A1C levels, foot care, blood pressure measurement, eye exams, and lipid levels.
  • HHQI Cardiovascular Health Patient Video: Diabetes & Your Heart
    • Discusses the effects and complications of high blood glucose on the cardiovascular system.


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