The majority of people with type 2 diabetes do not meet dietary and physical activity recommendations. It is not well understood how diabetes educators translate diet and physical guidelines for their clients and if diabetes educators have sufficient resources to promote healthy eating and physical activity. This research addressed these questions through exploratory qualitative interviews.
A total of 13 diabetes educators who work in Alberta, Canada, were interviewed.
The reasons for lack of client uptake of lifestyle recommendations were complex and interwoven. The strongest theme to emerge was the clients’ prior knowledge and skills affecting their ability to uptake knowledge. However, educators recognized that clients are affected by social, environmental, cultural, and personal factors.
Health system and societal issues cause a cascade effect resulting in difficulties for both educators and clients. To achieve appropriate treatment of type 2 diabetes, changes need to occur at a health systems level.