Using community theater to improve diabetes education in Fiji
Diabetes afflicts upwards of 425 million people globally with 80% of that number living in the developing world. The World Health Organization has declared diabetes a global health threat. Here, we describe a Community Theater (CT) project implemented in Fiji, a nation where 30% of the adult population is diabetic. Current diabetes education methods used by the Ministry of Health in Fiji have proven to be ineffective in stemming the growing incidence of the disease. Our research hypothesis was that significant improvements would occur from baseline in the physical and psychosocial markers among a group of outpatients being treated at a diabetic clinic who were exposed to CT interventions over a 23-month period. Significant improvement in HbA1c levels occurred in the intervention group compared to a control group that was not exposed to CT. We conclude that novel educational approaches are needed, including CT, to combat the growing epidemic of diabetes that threatens Fiji and all other Pacific Island nations.
KeywordsDiabetes education Community theater Fiji Pacific Islands Public health
This research was sponsored by a grant from BRIDGES, a program of the International Diabetes Federation, and Eli Lilly Company and Lilly Diabetes.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
This research was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of both Georgia Southwestern State University and the University of the South Pacific. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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