Aim: In this study we aimed to evaluate the cognitive status of diabetes mellitus patients referred to an educator nurse for subcutaneous injection treatment education and to measure their health literacy level and compare the findings with treatment results.
Methods: The study population consisted of 200 volunteer Type2 diabetes mellitus patients over age 18 receiving subcutaneous injection (insulin or exenatide) treatment who were admitted to the SBU Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital diabetes education outpatient clinic between January 2018 and February 2018. The Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination and the European Health Literacy Scale Questionnaire were used. A face-to face interview method was used for data collection.HbA1c values of patients were recorded at the time of admission for insulin pen use education, and HbA1c values of the patients coming for diabetes outpatient control 3 months after the training were also recorded.
Results: From the results of the study, the total rate of participants with insufficient/limited general health literacy was 83%. The incidence of dementia was 24% in the same population. There was a linear relationship between general health literacy status and mini-mental test scores. The decrease in HbA1c levels of patients receiving insulin pen education was greater in the group with sufficient health literacy and normal cognitive functions.
Conclusions: Impairment of cognitive functions and low health literacy levels were assessed as obstacles to management of the disease in diabetes mellitus cases receiving injection education. Consideration of these circumstances in patient education could positively affect treatment outcomes.