Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Vanessa Ann Figueroa, DNP, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC

Vanessa Figueroa
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    K. Melissa Smith Hayes, DNP, ANP-C, CHFN


DNP Project Abstract

The Role of Health Literacy on the Impact of a Diabetes Education Intervention

The purpose of this project is the implementation of a diabetes education intervention by a nurse practitioner to participants with type-2 diabetes. The aims of this project include: (1) improved diabetes knowledge scores, and (2) analysis of diabetes knowledge scores between type-2 diabetic members with and without low health literacy (LHL).

A spoken communication strategy using a diabetes education booklet titled, “Taking Charge of Your Diabetes” was implemented during annual wellness visits with diabetic subjects. Health literacy level was assessed prior to the education intervention using the REALM-SF tool. Diabetes knowledge was assessed using a pre and posttest of eight items from the modified T/F version of the Diabetes Knowledge Test (DKT).

Subjects with low health literacy (n= 3) were able to improve their diabetes knowledge score following the intervention. One subject with normal health literacy (REALM-SF = 7) also improved their diabetes knowledge score from pre to posttest. Low health literacy in subjects (REALM-SF < 7) did not prevent them from learning from the intervention. All subjects with low health literacy (n = 3) had <12th grade education level. Good health literacy (REALM-SF = 7) did not necessarily mean better health outcomes.

Implications for Practice
The spoken communication education tool tested during this small study was appropriate to teach diabetic subjects with low health literacy. This study determined there was no relationship between health literacy and glycemic control based on hemoglobin A1C in this small group. The “Taking Charge of Your Diabetes” tool should continue to be utilized for diabetic who have low health literacy during the annual wellness visits.