All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nancy Borkowski

Advisory Committee Members

Larry Hearld

Stephen J O'Connor

Jeff M Szychowski

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Executive Doctor of Science (DSc) School of Health Professions


This dissertation was a quasi-experimental research study exploring the effectiveness of two educational teaching methods with patients with diabetes. One teaching method utilized an education framework called the Conversation Map tools, a group-based, highly interactive learning experience using colorful visual tools, activity cards and sharing of real-life experiences. The other method was a traditional, lecture-style class taught by a health educator using overhead slides and handouts.

Secondary data from a regional health system in the Western U.S. was used to test the hypothesis that participants in the Conversation Map classes would report a larger drop in A1c levels compared to participants in the lecture-style classes. Ten participant characteristics were used in the analysis. Group dynamics served as the theoretical framework for the hypothesis developed in this study.

Findings indicated that both the Conversation Map group and lecture-style group were able to reduce their A1c levels significantly, when measured before and after participation in the education programs. The Conversation Map group performed better, achieving the American Diabetes Association accepted goal for most non-pregnant adults of < 7.0, although the difference in change between the two groups was not statistically significant. When controlling for age, pre-intervention A1c score and number of days post-intervention A1c was measured, the Conversation Map method was more effective at reducing patient A1c levels than lecture-style teaching, a statistically significant result.

Findings from this study will inform policymakers, managers and health education program creators that group-based, interactive diabetes self-management education programs such as the Conversation Map tools may be an effective model for the reduction of patient A1c levels



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