Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Anne H. Nardi.


The purpose of the study was to explore how diabetes educators integrate Internet technology in their medical practice. The study focused on diabetes educators' perceptions and experiences using the Internet to provide diabetes education and how this educational strategy has influenced their diabetes educator-patient relationships.;Employing both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, the research population of this study involved 41 diabetes educators working in West Virginia. The quantitative research method consisted of a survey with a series of correlational analyses to describe perceptions and use of computer and Internet that diabetes educators employed in their practice. The qualitative case study followed the quantitative design. Using maximum variation sampling strategy, five diabetes educators were purposively sampled. In-depth interviews were conducted at the educators' worksites. Case and cross-case analyses were conducted to answer how educators' perceptions and other factors relate to their integration of Internet technology in their practice.;The results from this research point to the following: educators shared a favorable view of Internet technology, integrated the Internet technology in their practice in a variety of methods, felt that computer use increased their productivity, and viewed their patients bringing information retrieved from the Internet as opportunities for additional education. Diabetes educators are becoming better consumers of online diabetes information. With the use of the Internet to interact with their patients more frequently, educators can extend the reach of counseling.;The study was limited to diabetes educators practicing in West Virginia. Diabetes educators practicing in urban other states may have different perspectives and experiences on how Internet technology could work for diabetes self-management.