Diabetes and Self-Care Initiative Among High School Students

The onset of modernization, coupled with the globalization process over the last 50 years has seen not just the spread of positive cultures and influences to different parts of the world but also the propagation of some negative health related conditions among them being diabetes. The importation of the western cultures to other regions including remote islands saw the carrying of the Western diets and ways of life some of which have had negative impacts. The fast foods, docile lifestyle perpetuated by the inactive entertainment from electronics have been a major cause of diabetes among the cultures that have adopted the Western cultures. The staggering number of new cases of diabetes among men and women who traditionally did not have such high numbers of diabetes is a cause of alarm. Worse still is the ever increasing number of children with type 1 diabetes which stands at more that 215,000 with no sign of any near future solution. These alarming statistics and trends are a clear indicator that any necessary measures need to be taken to ensure the people suffering from diabetes are well taken care of and equipped with the necessary knowledge in managing the condition. As the children grow up and transcend to high school, there is need for them, as young adults, to be mentored to be able to take care of themselves so that they can ease the pressure from the health care practitioners to concentrate on the younger children who are not able to take care of themselves, this is a health care approach that is fully supported and advocated for by the self-care theory that was propagated by Orem (Alice P., 2015).

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This proposal will highlight the significant facts about diabetes among children and adolescents and of higher importance, show the proper and effective ways through which the adolescents can objectively take care of themselves as well as their friends who have diabetes. It will also show how the effectiveness of this method could be measured hence being an approach that can be replicated in different parts of the community.

Problem statement

The increase in number of children with diabetes predisposes a larger number of adolescents to being those suffering from diabetes and the number keeps increasing as they grow up. It is even more crucial to note that it is at the high school level that most students change their feeding habits and almost completely switch to the fast food culture hence predisposing them to high calories in their meals and contrasted processed sugar and salts. These often complicates the life of the students particularly those who already suffer from diabetes hence the need to have a stable system of intervention that is targeted at this high school population which is faced with a change in culture an health issue both at the same time.

In order for the students to understand the importance of the intervention suggested by the proposal below, it is important to note that the kind of diet that one engages in plays a significant role in whether the individual will have diabetes related complications or not. The high fat, high calorie diets often result in obesity and subsequent diabetes since these two are related as noted by Reece, A. (2010). Upon assessment of various diets in the management of diabetes and the symptoms or complications it often comes with, Ajala, O., English, P., Pinkney, J. (2013) note that low-carb, low GI, Mediterranean and high protein diets are essential in treating people who have diabetes since they help in strengthening the cardiovascular system. Barnard, N., Cohen, J., Jenkins, D. et al. (2009) further found out that low-fat vegan diet helps in improving the glycemia as well as plasma lipids far much more than the conventional diets. This is a diet that has positive impacts on the diabetes disease.

Further, Cunningham-Myrie, C., Theall, K., Yonger, N., et al. (2015) developed a research-based web that connects the environment/society, activity, obesity and diabetes. They argued that the children grow up seeing the kind of food being eaten around them and they engage in the same despite being wrong diet, these children also lack active entertainment and end up with docile activities like watching television or playing computer games. This in turns leads to exposure to obesity as the fats accumulate and no calories are burned while they are seated in front of a TV set. These are the requisite conditions for the body to develop diabetes which currently ails the adolescent population that should be the most active.

Bearing these facts there is need to help the adolescents in high schools to realize that they are able to have a healthy life to avoid risk of developing diabetes and also can manage the diabetes condition significantly well in a manner that will not negatively impact on their heath and studies. There is need to have an intervention that roaches the diabetes challenge in high school in a wholesome manner. The plan looks into the importance of the self-care initiative among adolescents in high school as a measure to empowering the diabetes patients and relieving pressure from health care personnel.


The approach proposed herein is based on the self-care deficit theory that was mainly advocated for by Orem in order to ensure there is a sufficient quality health care measure among the citizens. This is the approach that can help the diabetic students identify the challenges that they have and exist in managing diabetes, and guide them in a self implemented plan that will help them manage the disease appropriately.

Orem’s theory suitably divides the self-care deficit theory into three major components; the theory of self-care, theory of self-care deficit and theory of nursing system. The first two are the most applicable in this case scenario where the promotion of diabetes care within the college setting is the prime focus. This plan hence focuses on the various approaches that can be used to manage diabetes, the requisite knowledge and then the post implementation evaluation.

The first tenet of self-care theory indicates that one needs to get equipped with universal self-care requisites like life processes and maintenance of individual integrity and of the body, these include intake of water, air and food. It emphasizes on provision of care that is associated with elimination process, the balance of the physical activities, the social life and the emotional balance, avoidance of hazards to life and promotion of normal functioning. In this respect, the plan outlines the various foods and drinks that are appropriate for the diabetic adolescent as well as the social activities that are encouraged for the adolescents in order to avoid the risk of being obese and get predisposed to diabetes. The plan will also guide the patients on the ways in which they can have emotional balance which is a requisite to healthy living. At this level, the plan will be concerned mostly with body and mind as a preventive measure to getting diabetes.

The second tenet under the self-care theory is the developmental self-care requisites which is mainly based on the development of the students, including adjusting feeding habits to the body changes that they experience in high school in order to lead a healthy life. The intervention plan will involve making the students, especially the females, aware of the body changes during adolescent and also sensitizing them on what these changes may imply in terms of their predisposition to diabetes.

The third tenet is the health deviation self-care which entails seeking medical attention when one falls ill, being aware of the pathologic effects of conditions, carrying out the medical prescriptions, adjusting oneself in line with the prevailing state of health and learning to live with the pathologic conditions. Here, the plan will stipulate the significant measures that a diabetic needs to take in order to get medical attention, the correct medical attention and the best ay possible to manage the condition in a manner that will not interfere with the academic pursuits of the individual. It entails more of the psychological measures that a student needs to take into account once they have been diagnosed with diabetes since it can be emotionally draining at such a young age to know that one has diabetes.

Evaluation plan

Once the above intervention measure has been put in place, the evaluation of its effectiveness and the acceptability will have to be measured. An evaluation plan that will involve both the diabetic students who have undergone the sensitization and equipping as per the plan above as well as the non-diabetic students will be involved. There will be two major methods that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention; the use of face-to-face interviews as well as the use of questionnaires. A representative sample of 30 students from each grade will be used in evaluation process. From the class selected, 15 students will be randomly picked among those with diabetes, and another 15 randomly from those without diabetes. This will be replicated in at least three other classes in order to acquire a representative number. The research assistants will first interview the participants after which they will be given questionnaires to carry home and fill in accordingly. This double take will help in finding the consistency in the information given since most of the questions will be a repeat of the interview but slightly altered.


Diabetes among adolescents can no longer be taken to be a minor issue since it has its roots in the childhood days of the individual. This means, the number of adolescents in high schools with diabetes will keep increasing each year. Fortunately this is an age group that can be trained and equipped to rely on self to manage the disease and even help others with the diabetic complications. The knowledge of the diet, physical exercise and the proper medication is essential in empowering the adolescents to take care of themselves and these need to be planned out and taught to the adolescents in order to ease the pressure that is currently experienced among the health care practitioners.


Ajala, O., English, P., Pinkney, J. (2013). Systemic review and meta-analysis of different dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 97(3): 505-516.

Barnard, N., Cohen, J., Jenkins, D. et al. (2009). A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(suppl): IS-9S.

Cunningham-Myrie, C., Theall, K., Yonger, N., et al. (2015). Associations between neighborhood effects and physical activity, obesity, and diabetes: The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey, 2008. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(9): 970-978.

Reece, A. (2010). The fetal and maternal consequences of gestational diabetes mellitus.

The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 23(3): 199-203.