Background: Patients with type II diabetes mostly struggle with increased fasting blood sugar (FBS) and glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c, which are associated with irrecoverable complications. Self-care education and different types of learning among patients are regarded as some of the most important issues in this regard. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of self-care education based on VARK learning style on HbA1c and FBS in patients with type II diabetes.
Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on patients with type II diabetes referring to Parsian Clinic in Mashhad, Iran in 2015. In total, 72 samples were selected through randomized convenience sampling and divided into two control and intervention groups of 36 cases. Subjects of the intervention group were also divided into subgroups of visual, aural, read/write and kinesthetic based on the results of VARK questionnaire. Self-care education was carried out for the intervention group in two 60-minute sessions once every two weeks, tailored to learning styles of the patients. Meanwhile, routine conferences were held for the control group. HbA1c and FBS levels were evaluated in all the participants before and a month and a half after the intervention to assess the self-care of patients. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 21 using Mann-Whitney U, Chi-square, independent t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Results: In this study, mean score of HbA1c level was decreased from 7.7±0.8 to 7.0±5.7 (P<0.062), whereas mean score of FBS level was alleviated from 176.1±33.5 to 147.7±32.8 (P<0.001), which was only significant regarding the level of FBS (P=0.002).
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, application of VARK learning style led to a reduction in HbA1c and FBS levels, contributing to improved self-care in patients with type II diabetes. Therefore, it is suggested that learning style of patients be determined using VARK questionnaire before their education, which leads to providing education tailored to the needs of patients by healthcare members.