An Application of a Diabetes Knowledge Scale for Low-Literate Hispanic/Latinos

Ninfa C. Peña-Purcell, May Boggess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose. The threefold purpose of this study is to assess diabetes knowledge among Hispanic/Latinos attending a culturally sensitive, empowerment-based, diabetes self-management education program; second, to examine the utility of the Spoken Knowledge in Low Literacy in Diabetes (SKILLD) scale as an assessment tool for this population; and third, to assess the relationship between hemoglobin A1C and knowledge improvement in the intervention group. Method. A prospective, quasi-experimental, repeated-measure design tested pre- and post-A1C and diabetes knowledge using the SKILLD scale. The sample consisted of 71 in the intervention group and 64 controls. Results. Most participants were female, marginally acculturated, and, on average, 60 years of age. Both groups were similar in baseline diabetes knowledge score (median 6 out of 10), and higher literacy was significantly related to increased baseline knowledge. The intervention group significantly improved at follow-up compared with the controls: Participants in the intervention with low baseline knowledge scores had a mean follow-up score of 5.6; those with a high baseline score had a mean score of 7.6. The intervention cohort scored significantly better in knowing why to see an eye doctor, what are normal fasting blood glucose and A1C, and understanding long-term diabetes complications. Increased knowledge of a normal fasting blood glucose level had a significant effect on follow-up A1C in the intervention group. Conclusion. The intervention favorably affects diabetes knowledge, and the SKILLD scale has utility with low-literate Hispanic/Latinos. The significant impact on A1C by diabetes knowledge gain shows that the empowerment-based diabetes self-management education was successful for this ethnic population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Hispanic/Latinos
  • SKILLD scale
  • diabetes self-management education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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