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Study examines experiences of education for young people with type 1 diabetes

By Editor
7th August 2018
Education, Research Type 1 diabetes

Structured education for young people with type 1 diabetes can improve self-management through empowerment, a study by the University of Sheffield has concluded.

The research, published by Diabetic Medicine, explored the experiences of young adults with the condition regarding self‐management in the context of a structured education programme.

Qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with a broad mixture of young adults attending a structured education course promoting a flexible and self‐directed format.

Fifteen interviews were conducted 12 weeks after each course and seven focus groups and observations of the course delivery were also conducted at two course sites. These were led by nurse or dietitian educators representing two different diabetes centres, paediatric and adult. The interview and focus group data were audio recorded and transcribed, coded, and analysed thematically to identify similarities and differences.

Summarising the results, the researchers said: “The analysis revealed three themes, ‘we’re in it together’, ‘tacit benefits’ and ‘transitions beyond the structured education programme’. The findings show that structured education programmes can facilitate reflective critical thinking and greater engagement with diabetes self‐management if they: a) foster maximal learning from fellow participants to decrease feelings of isolation, b) maximise engagement during the course by delivering the content in a flexible manner, and c) recognise the social and emotional needs of young adults.”

They concluded: “Structured education courses can result in improved critical thinking and engagement with diabetes self‐management by empowering young adults through a flexible and self‐directed learning style that encourages peer group discussion.”

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