Talal Alharbi*, Gayle McLelland and Nikos Thomacos
Background: Diabetes education provided by qualified and competent diabetes educators (DEs) is effective in reducing risks of diabetes complications. Globally, the DE workforce comprises a mixture of professions, with the majority being nurses. It is necessary to regularly assess DEs’ competence and knowledge to ensure that quality diabetes education is being delivered.
Objective: This study explored the self-perceived competence and the diabetes knowledge of DEs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Methods: This study explored the self-perceived competence and the diabetes knowledge of DEs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), using a quantitative, cross-sectional survey, administered at 20 diabetes centres. A total of 368 DEs were invited to participate in the study.
Results: Surveys were completed by 324 DEs (response rate = 88%), 84% (n=271) were nurses. From a possible overall range between 63-252, the mean (M) was 168.59 and standard deviation (SD) was (35.6) hence perceived competence of the DEs was low, Of a maximum possible score of 45 for the diabetes knowledge test, response scores ranged from 9 to 40, with M = 26.2 (6.0). Perceived competence and diabetes knowledge varied depending on age, nationality, educational qualification, primary profession, and whether or not the DE held a specialised diabetes qualification.
Conclusion: DEs in the KSA need to develop and enhance their competence and knowledge in order to provide quality diabetes care and education. The low perceived competence and scores in the knowledge test show that intervention measures are needed to regularly assess and improve the core competencies of DEs. Further research is required to identify DEs’ barriers to having sufficient competencies and knowledge.
diabetes education, diabetes educator, core competencies, self-perceived, diabetes knowledge
chool of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University