Promoting Health in the Hispanic American Population through a Community Educational Experience on Diabetes Mellitus: A Novice Researcher Experience
The role of nurses is to become a leader in their communities. One way to demonstrate their leadership is to organize prevention programs to improve the quality of life for Hispanic Americans. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) diagnosed in Hispanic Americans is reported to be 12.1%, compared to 7.4% in non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans. This study was a non-experimental, educational intervention using pre- and post-test design held at a county health department. Following the educational intervention, a paired sample t-test showed overall positive acquisition of knowledge (p=0.038). From time 1 to time 2, gains were seen in knowledge about purchasing diabetic foods; importance of weight control; eating a high protein/low carb diet with fiber; impacts on kidneys, eyes, and sexual function; importance of regular check-ups with a healthcare provider; potential for stroke or other complications; and understanding risks for children developing diabetes whose parents are diabetic. Losses were seen in understanding the cause of diabetes, importance of physical activity, food preparation, and specific foods to eat. We recommend a personalized education intervention for Hispanic Americans understanding their own DM risks and modifiable behaviors.