Don't Sugarcoat Diabetes (DSD): Outcomes of A Diabetes Awareness and Advocacy Program among Texas Hi
UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine
Background Diabetes is a preventable condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Minors can potentially play a significant role in diabetes prevention and advocacy in the community. Don’t Sugarcoat Diabetes (DSD) is an interactive diabetes prevention-focused educational program designed to increase knowledge, prevention, and advocacy towards healthy lifestyles among South Texas high school students. Objectives The DSD program aimed to increase knowledge of diabetes and its prevention, as well as encourage healthy lifestyles in high schoolers by improving their confidence in their ability to share their knowledge of diabetes with others. Among health professions students who volunteered to conduct the DSD program, it aimed to increase the confidence in their ability to communicate healthcare knowledge with the general population. Methods South Texas high school students (n=167) completed the pre-program and post-program surveys in Likert scale format which measured confidence and knowledge in diabetes and diabetes risk reduction and intended change in behavior and advocacy. Follow-up surveys are on-going. Student volunteers (n=15) completed a questionnaire measuring their confidence of diabetes knowledge and communicating this information as a team. All data was analyzed for differences. Results The high school students showed a significant improvement in their confidence in diabetes knowledge, risk reduction, and ability to share diabetes knowledge with others (mean increase=57.5%), knowledge of diabetes and its risk reduction (mean increase=16.8%), and intent to adopt healthy lifestyle changes (mean increase=53.4%) after the program. Student volunteers showed significant improvement in their knowledge of diabetes (mean increase=20.9%) and confidence in communicating diabetes and healthcare information to patients (mean increase=31.6%). Conclusion The DSD program significantly improved high school students’ confidence and knowledge of diabetes and its risk reduction, as well as encouraging healthy lifestyle changes. It also improved student volunteer’s confidence in their knowledge of diabetes and the ability to communicate diabetes information to high schoolers and patients.