Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science (Honours)


School of Nursing


Western Australian College of Advanced Education

First Supervisor

Kathy Ahem


Patient education has been shown to be a major factor in improving the compliance and self-care skills of diabetic patients, thereby improving the quality of life for the patient. Nurses have an important role in diabetes patient education. Research has indicated, however, that barriers such as lack of knowledge and negative attitudes may prevent nurses from effectively delivering this care to their patients. The purpose of this experimental study was to determine whether increasing the knowledge of registered nurses through an in-service lecture on diabetes would improve their attitudes towards diabetes education. The conceptual framework for the study proposed that an increase in nurses' knowledge will lead to more positive attitudes toward, and consequently more practice of, patient education by nurses. This in turn will lead to an increase in the patient's self-caring abilities and ultimately an improvement in the quality of life for the patient. Utilizing an experimental design, 34 nurses completed a Diabetes Attitude Scale pre- and post-test. The experimental group (n=17) attended an in-service lecture on diabetes, while the control group (n=16) did not. A two-factor repeated measures analysis of variance was used to make pre- and post-test comparisons between the groups. The post-test scores of the experimental group were found to be significantly higher than their own pre-test scores and the post-test scores of the control group. These results emphasise the need to develop means of increasing the knowledge base of and developing more positive attitudes in registered nurses towards diabetes patient education.