The Rise of Diabetes in Rural Areas

Problem Statement

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Diabetes is a common problem among various populations in the United States, some being at a higher risk than others. As of 2015, statistics revealed that about 23.1 million individuals in the country had a positive diagnosis of diabetes (Rural Information Hub, 2019). The country is grouped into different diabetes belts, which are regions spanning over 644 counties in 15 states. The majority of these regions have predominantly rural populations. Recent research reveals that such areas are experiencing considerably high rates of diabetes. Besides, rural communities have a 17 percent higher rate of type 2 diabetes compared to those living in urban parts of the US (Rural Information Hub, 2019). Similar outcomes have revealed a high risk of developing diabetes among residents of counties in the diabetes belt in the country. The trend indicates that diabetes is a primary concern for rural residents in the United States.

Further investigations have indicated that rural communities are at a higher risk of developing diabetes compared to urban regions. The outcome of research and expert opinions reveal the underlying reasons for the high rates and increase in risk factors for diabetes in rural areas. Some people in the regions have more than one risk factor, which increases their chances of becoming diabetic. Some of the risk factors among rural populations include obesity due to inactivity, poor dietary choices, race/ethnicity, old age, and family history (Clark & Utz, 2014). People in rural areas develop risky habits, such as consumption of high amounts of dietary fats (Faul, 2014). Besides, rural communities have less access to health services compared to those in urban areas. Therefore, health disparity explains the high rate of diabetes because rural dwellers fail to access or seek health care services when they have already developed diabetes. The high prevalence and increased risk of diabetes among the rural populations are the primary reasons for the current research to establish effective interventions to address the problem.

Research Purpose

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the rise of diabetes in rural areas and to propose effective interventions to address the high prevalence and risk. Current research and statistics reveal the magnitude of the problem (Warren & Smalley, 2014). Therefore, it is necessary to explore some of the most effective solutions to the challenge to reduce the rate and risk of diabetes and improve the health and wellbeing of the rural populations in the country. The proposed solution in the study includes the implementation of health promotion and education among the at-risk populations in the target communities. The program will involve education and behavior change campaigns to increase awareness of the ways of preventing diabetes among the at-risk people. It will focus on topics such as healthy diets, including low fat and consumption of fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and timely access to health care. The project will evaluate the impact of the health promotion and education program in reducing the prevalence of diabetes in rural areas.

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Research Question

PICOT Question: among rural populations (P), how do health promotion and education (I) compared to inaction (C) help to reduce the high prevalence of diabetes (O) within three months of targeted health promotion and education effort?
Patient/Population: The intervention will be implemented among all people living in rural areas, but the focus will be on those at the risk of diabetes due to various factors, such as family history of diabetes, weight, inactivity, high blood pressure, and pregnancy.

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