Introduction: The overall incidence of stroke was higher in men than women. Type 2 diabetes is found to be a risk factor for stroke. Previous prospective studies showed each 1% increase in HbA1c would be associated with 12% increase in the risk of developing a stroke. Identifying effective strategies to optimize the glycemic control of male patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes would be valuable for reducing the risk of stroke. This mixed-method study aims to examine how male patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes responded to a person-centered empowerment-based self-management intervention.
Methods: Phase I study was based on a sub-group analysis of 179 male subjects with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes [with Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥7.5%] who received a six-week empowerment-based self-management intervention (n= 93) or attentional control (n= 86), respectively. The primary outcome was HbA1c level from baseline to three-month post-intervention. Phase II study was an in-depth individual interview with the purpose to reveal how facilitating factors or barriers become apparent in the implementation of self-management practice. Integration of quantitative and qualitative data was performed to disclose a comprehensive picture of intervention effect and mechanism.
Results: The pre-post HbA1c change for male subjects in the intervention group was 1.01%, which indicated a clinical significant reduction in the risk of developing stroke. At three-month post-intervention, male participants in the intervention group showed significant improvement in glycemic control (8.99% vs. 9.68%, between-group difference: 0.69±2.64, p= 0.045). Content analysis revealed that setting personally meaningful goals, making a personalized action plan, and reflecting and solution-finding were facilitating factors perceived by male subjects with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Two categories for barriers to optimal glycemic control were identified, including collective culture and diabetes fatalism.
Conclusions: Person-centered empowerment-based intervention could facilitate male subjects with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes to actively engage in self-management activities for stroke prevention.