Education for young people with diabetes evaluated
World Diabetes Day is on 14 November this year. To help prevent diabetes from becoming a burden to the NHS in the future, new research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research's Health Technology Assessment programme is set to investigate the effectiveness of a structured educational intervention to help young people manage their diabetes.
The structured intensive psycho-educational programme has been developed by a team of researchers from the University College London Hospitals Trust. Youngsters are invited to attend four group sessions, delivered over four months. The aim is to develop their confidence in managing their diabetes, including how to adapt the amount of insulin they take and how to manage daily challenges such as exercise and illness.
In a £1.5 million cluster randomized, controlled trial, clinical nurse specialists in 13 clinics will attend training workshops, and then deliver the programme to over 500 children and young people from across 26 specialist centres.
The researchers aim to investigate how acceptable the programme is, ease of delivery, participation and impact on health-related quality of life, self-management behaviour, emotional, behavioural and family functioning and service use. The programme will also be assessed for its cost-effectiveness.
"Managing diabetes is challenging for children and young people, and despite parental support and expert education many struggle to control their diabetes," says lead researcher Dr Deborah Christie.
"It is thought that combining educational and psychological approaches may help young people to gain the confidence and motivation they need to manage their diabetes effectively, but this is yet to be investigated properly. We hope that our research will help to inform the future development of services for young people with diabetes."