Tuesday , November 21 2017
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How to Find Your Patient’s Diabetes Knowledge

Is the Diabetes Knowledge Test 2 (DKT2) a reliable way to show where you need to start in educating your patient for self-care?

According to recent findings, the revised Diabetes Knowledge Test offers a fast and inexpensive means of evaluating patients’ general knowledge of diabetes and diabetes self-care. This can be a very confusing activity. The validity and reliability of the test may vary based on demographic characteristics of tested populations, the researchers wrote.

The purpose of this study is to examine the reliability and validity of the revised Diabetes Knowledge Test (DKT2). The original test was updated to reflect current diabetes care and education guidelines. The test has 2 components: a 14-item general test and a 9-item insulin use subscale.

James T. Fitzgerald, PhD, of the department of learning health sciences at the University of Michigan, and colleagues evaluated the reliability and validity of the revised Diabetes Knowledge Test in two separate patient samples. The updated test consists of a 14-item general test and a nine-item insulin use subscale. One patient sample was recruited by Qualtrics LLC, an online survey company (n =110) and the other from the University of Michigan’s division of metabolism, endocrinology and diabetes registry (MEND; n = 89).

Two samples were used to evaluate the DKT2. The first came from an online survey company (Qualtrics, LCC) (n = 101) and the second from the University of Michigan’s (UofM) Diabetes Registry (n = 89). Cronbach’s coefficient alpha was used to calculate reliability.

To examine validity, comparisons by type of diabetes, insulin use and oral medication use, and educational level were completed. Correlations between diabetes duration and both the general test and insulin subscale were calculated for the UofM sample.

Researchers found demographic disparities between the two samples with differences observed in all characteristics except age. Ethnic diversity and type 2 diabetes were more prevalent among the Qualtrics cohort (91%) while treatment with insulin alone (54%), receipt of diabetes education (100%) and more formal education (71%) were more common in the MEND participants. A combination of the samples revealed a more balanced distribution for diabetes type, treatment type and education levels.

In the Qualtrics cohort, the coefficient alphas for the overall test and the insulin use subscale suggested reliable measures while the MEND reliability estimates were significantly lower. A combination of the samples found that reliability improved significantly with the coefficient alphas showing reliability for both the general test and the insulin use subscale.

Similar patterns for test scores were seen by diabetes treatment and diabetes type. A difference was found for general test scores of the Qualtrics cohort for participants using medications only and those using insulin and medications (P < .01).

“As with the [Diabetes Knowledge Test], the usefulness of the [revised Diabetes Knowledge Test] is dependent on the objective of the clinician, researcher or student,” the researchers wrote. “The [revised Diabetes Knowledge Test] provides a quick and low-cost method of assessing a patient’s or a population’s general knowledge of diabetes and diabetes self-care. The revised [Diabetes Knowledge Test] is available to clinicians and researchers at no cost.” However, the validity and reliability of the test may vary based on demographic characteristics of tested populations, the researchers wrote.

In conclusion, the reliability and validity tests were inconsistent by sample. The different results can, in part, be attributed to the demographic differences between the two samples. With the exception of age, the samples differed in every other measured variable. However, when the samples were combined, the analyses supported the reliability and validity of the Diabetes Knowledge Test 2. The DKT2 is a quick and low-cost method of assessing general knowledge of diabetes and diabetes self-care.

Practice Pearls:

  • Knowing your patients’ diabetes knowledge can save time and money.
  • The different results can, in part, be attributed to the demographic differences
  • The DKT2 is a quick and low-cost method of assessing general knowledge of diabetes and self-care.

Researched and prepared by Steve Freed, BPharm, Diabetes Educator, Publisher and reviewed by Dave Joffe, BSPharm, CDE

 

Fitzgerald JT, et al. Diabetes Educ. 2016;doi:10.1177/0145721715624968.