Diabetic education and support groups promote self care, improve health outcomes, and decrease health care costs. Self care, an important aspect of diabetes care, can be promoted through diabetes education and support groups. Few studies have been done to explore rural population's access to and attendance of diabetes self care education and support groups. The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine if residents of a rural southern Minnesota community have access to diabetes education and support groups and what barriers they face to attending the groups. The understanding gained through this study will help to develop nursing interventions to assist the diabetic patient to connect with diabetes education and support groups. The study was qualitative, utilizing the interview method. The setting was a rural southern Minnesota community with six voluntary participants over age 18 with type 2 diabetes. Interviews were conducted with four guiding questions. The study results suggest that intervening early after the type 2 diabetes diagnosis is essential to promoting self management as this is when interest is peaked and patients are most open to learning. Nurses should assess for self care deficits and intervene to promote self care with all diabetic patient interactions. Incorporating diabetic education, such as handouts, websites, education and support groups, and brief explanations of complications, at every visit is important to promote self care.


Hans-Peter de Ruiter

First Committee Member

Sue Ellen Bell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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