Educator Experience with the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map® Education Program in the Journey for Control of Diabetes: The IDEA Study

  1. Patricia Glasrud, MS, RD, CDE

It is widely accepted that educating patients about ways to better understand and self-manage type 2 diabetes is a cornerstone for managing the disease.1 However, there is still much debate over the educational approach that is most effective in delivering such crucial health information in a way that leads to measurable changes in patient behavior and improved clinical outcomes.2

In an effort to help resolve this debate, the Journey for Control of Diabetes: The IDEA Study, a multisite randomized trial, is underway, conducted by researchers at Health-Partners Research Foundation (HP) in Minneapolis, Minn., and LCF Research (LCF), in Albuquerque, N.M. The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of two methods of education: 1) a traditional individual educational approach and 2) a more novel group-based, interactive learning experience called IDEA (Interactive Dialogue to Educate and Activate) using the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map education program (created by Healthy Interactions in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association [ADA] and sponsored by Merck & Co.). This form of group education, using the Conversation Map education tools as a vehicle to facilitate interaction between educators and patients, shows promise to change patient attitudes toward diabetes, improve self-efficacy, and lead to better clinical outcomes.

The purpose of this article is to describe the IDEA Study educator experience with implementing the Conversation Map education approach to inform and assist others in integrating this learning tool in their care settings.

IDEA Study Background

The IDEA Study enrolled 623 participants with a history of suboptimally controlled type 2 diabetes through HP and LCF from June 2008 to May 2009, with the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of an interactive, group-based diabetes educational experience using the Conversation Map tools. Individuals interested in the study were eligible to participate if they had an A1C value within the past 6 months of ≥ …

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