Impact of a single mass health education intervention on the knowledge of diabetes mellitus among people from a rural population in Vellore, India
Prevalence of diabetes is escalating at very abnormal proportions in India. In India, around 40.9 million people are affected by diabetes. This study was done to assess the impact of a single mass educational intervention program on the knowledge of diabetes mellitus among people from a rural village in Vellore. A questionnaire was administered to people who came for health education program. Health education program included a skit lasting for thirty minutes highlighting the symptoms, risk
... ors, complications, treatment and prevention of diabetes mellitus. The same questionnaire was administered to the same people three days after the program. A score was calculated for each of the domains-symptoms, risk factors, complications, treatment and prevention. The scores were compared before and after health education program using paired t test. Both pre and post health education questionnaires were available for sixty participants. The mean total baseline score was 4.10 (SD 3.36) while the mean total score after health education program was 10.18 (SD 3.2) and the difference was found to be significant statistically (p 0.001). The improvement in scores has been noticed in all the five domains of symptoms, risk factors, complications, treatment and prevention. The study clearly demonstrated the impact of a simple, 30-minute, educational intervention, in the form of mass health education, on the knowledge and awareness about diabetes mellitus among rural population. This kind of mass health educational program could potentially be replicated in other places. Keyword :Health education, diabetes mellitus Background Prevalence of diabetes is escalating at very abnormal proportions in India. In India, around 40.9 million people are affected by diabetes. 1 Indians develop diabetes at an earlier age and with lower levels of obesity. 2 Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes and its complications have a significant economic impact on individuals, families, health systems and countries. 3 Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. 4 Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive blood testing. Primary prevention can be accomplished by promotion of health and reduction of risk factors through the individual and on a community basis.