Primary health care providers in Brazil reported in a study that they felt insufficiently prepared to conduct educational practices for people with diabetes, pointing to gaps in their knowledge on the disease and the importance of diabetes self-management. The study findings indicate that the health professionals are aware and want to modify their behavior in patient education and complain of a lack of training for such change, specifically in relation to patient education in diabetes.

The current patient education process is based on health professionals “transferring” information on diabetes, rather than a more comprehensive and effective educational approach. The study suggests that the more appropriate approach should focus on the need to establish a dialogue between the provider and the patient and thus on the capacity to hear the needs and demands of the patient.

1. Torres HC, Rozemberg B, Amaral MA, Bodstein RCA. Perceptions of primary healthcare professionals towards their role in type 2 diabetes mellitus patient education in Brazil. BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 583. (open access)