Tennessee Medicine E-Journal


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess perspectives of patients with diabetes in medically underserved areas regarding their access to, satisfaction with, and preferred delivery methods for print diabetes educational materials in primary care. Health educational materials have demonstrated benefits for people with diabetes yet little is known of patient perspectives on this low-cost intervention in primary care clinics.

Methods: Cross-sectional exit survey of adult patients with diabetes at nine primary care clinics in medically underserved areas. The survey assessed demographics and current access, delivery, satisfaction with, and preferences for content and delivery of diabetes educational materials. Analyses were conducted using SAS® version 9.3.

Results: Eight-six of 96 eligible patients (89.6%) responded. The majority of respondents were female, African American, and had hypertension and additional comorbidities. Limited health literacy was common. Only one-third reported receiving print educational materials the day of the survey. Respondents who received materials were highly satisfied with readability and content, which focused on healthy eating and physical activity. Overall, most respondents preferred receiving materials from their doctors. However, they also reported high interest in browsing materials in the waiting room. Approximately half of patients wanted to receive materials more often.

Conclusion: Vulnerable patients with diabetes in medically underserved areas are highly interested in print educational materials, but infrequently receive this simple intervention during routine primary care. Substantial improvements are needed in access and delivery of low literacy diabetes educational materials in medically underserved areas.