Partnering With Community-Dwelling Individuals With Diabetes for Health Behavior Change Using Action Plans: An Innovation in Health Professionals Education and Practice

Teresa Barry Hultquist, Sara E Brown, Jenenne A Geske, Katherine Kaiser, Denise Waibel-Rycek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Health care practitioners support or hinder an individual’s attempts to self-manage health behavior. Practitioners must understand an individual’s health needs and goals to effectively partner for behavior change. Self-management support (SMS) promote efforts toward positive health behavior change. Practitioners need training to provide effective SMS, beginning with their formal education. The purpose of this educational practice project was to integrate an evidence-based intervention (SMS using action plans) into a nursing curriculum. Three sequential steps included (1) providing foundational SMS education, (2) SMS application with students’ personal action plans, and (3) implementing SMS with community-dwelling individuals with diabetes. Students (n = 130) partnered with participants (n = 85), developing short- (n = 240) and long-term (n = 99) action plans during home visits. The average baseline Diabetes Empowerment Scale score measuring participant’s perceived psychosocial diabetes management self-efficacy was 4.3 (1-5 scale, SD = 0.51, n = 83). Most common short-term actions related to physical activity (n = 100, 42%) and healthy eating (n = 61, 25%). Average participant confidence level was 7.7 (SD = 1.9, 0-10 scale). Short-term goal evaluation (n = 209) revealed 66% (n = 137) were met more than 50% of the time. Both participants (99%) and students (99%) expressed satisfaction with home visit and action plan experiences. This teaching–learning experience is replicable and applicable to any professional health care student.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-915
Number of pages10
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015



  • behavior change
  • diabetes
  • patient education
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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