MedWire News: Distributing a simple Diabetes Risk Score is a cheap and effective way to raise awareness of the condition among the Chinese population, report researchers.
During a multimedia health promotion targeting 1.94 million individuals in the Qingdao region, the Chinese Diabetes Risk Score questionnaire proved the most successful education tool for raising awareness about three main risk factors for diabetes.
As well as distributing the risk score, the researchers used radio broadcasts and the provision of free educational booklets to educate people about obesity, family history of diabetes, and physical inactivity between 2007 and 2010.
To evaluate the effectiveness of their project, Zhang Yanlei (University of Helsinki, Finland) and colleagues compared diabetes awareness surveys that were completed before (survey A) and during the campaign (survey B).
Among participants from urban areas, survey B showed that 85%, 82%, and 76% of participants correctly identified obesity, family history of diabetes, and physical activity, respectively, as important risk factors for diabetes.
This compared with significantly lower respective risk factor recognition rates of 43%, 46%, and 25% among people who completed the pre-campaign survey.
The corresponding figures among rural participants were 65%, 63%, and 53% in survey B and 29%, 22%, and 11% in survey A.
The framework of the Qingdao Diabetes Prevention Program included publication of 34 educational articles in the local newspaper Qingdao Morning, weekly broadcasting of 30-minute radio programs about diabetes prevention, and distribution of 724,130 educational booklets containing information about risk factors and prevention.
Finally, 535,870 single Diabetes Risk Score flyers were distributed through primary care doctors and nurses.
An analysis of the exposure rate to each tool in the suburban area showed that 34% of individuals read the newspaper, 33% listened to the radio program, 83% read the booklet, and 56% looked at the flyer.
Cost analysis of the different tools showed that to cover 1000 individuals, the cheapest method was to distribute the risk score flyers, at € 5.4 (US $ 6.7), followed by the newspaper, at € 7.7 ($ 9.5), then the booklets, at € 31.3 ($ 38.7), and the radio program, at € 37.5 ($ 46.4).
"Using the Diabetes Risk Score to identify the high-risk population and to increase public awareness might serve as a framework for large-scale diabetes prevention," concludes the team.
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