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Diabetes Literacy

Mar 01, 2016

Empowerment through self-management education is a key to chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, and to prevention. Diabetes self-management education facilitates knowledge, skill, and ability. One of the factors for effective self-management is a person's health literacy: the knowledge, and competences to understand, and apply health information. Persons with poor health literacy levels can have difficulties in such things as medication labels, interpreting blood sugar values, dosing schedules, written information and understanding their health providers. In the US it was shown that only 60% of adults reported that their care providers always explained things so they could understand them. In Europe, research shows that about 12% of adults have problematic health literacy and more than 40% limited health literacy. This is a challenge for everyone working in health care, and more specific in care and education chronic disease patients such as type 2 diabetes. 

Can you give some examples of how you adapt communications and instructions to the health literacy level of your patient in diabetes education?

Information about the discussion leader

The discussion will be moderated by Gerard Van der Zanden, Project manager of the Diabetes Literacy project at the Psychological Research Institute (IPSY) (Institut de recherche en sciences psychologiques) University of Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium 


  1. Powers MA, Bardsley J, Cypress M, Duker P, Funnell MM, Fischl AH, Maryniuk MD, Siminerio L, Vivian E, Diabetes self-management education and support in type 2 diabetes: a joint position statement of the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics. Diabetes Care 2015
  3. Compendium of Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs in the European Union member states, Israel, Taiwan and the USA. Version 1.1. Dresden, November 2015.