Published on 22 February 2018

Significant improvements reported in health of people on course.

People taking part in a type 2 diabetes education programme have said they feel “empowered” to manage their condition better.

Researchers from Leicester Diabetes Centre looking at how people responded to the Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Diagnosed (Desmond) programme, concluded that completing the course “significantly” improved people’s health.

The Desmond programme, launched in 2003, was designed to teach people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to develop the skills necessary to live with the condition.

The study, published in Practical Diabetes, found that more than 1,670 people with diabetes who completed the course between 2014 and 2015 reported reducing their HbA1c levels by around 1%. The HbA1c test records average blood sugar readings of someone with diabetes over a period of weeks or months.

Professor Melanie Davies
Lead researcher Professor Melanie Davies CBE, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “Diabetes education and self-management programmes are an essential component of diabetes care, but we have found uptake is low. However, when we offered this course in Leicester in 2014-2015 the majority of patients took the opportunity to attend, and the results were really impressive.

“We believe figures could be significantly increased if doctors are trained sufficiently so they know more about how structured education works and how courses such as Desmond could benefit their patients.

“If not managed properly type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including blindness, a lost limb or an increased risk of a stroke or heart attack, which is why introducing people to Desmond is so crucial.”

Bernie Stribling, Director of Desmond, said: “These findings are hugely valuable to us as a team, so it is rewarding to know the programme continues to help people to control their condition. These are real people in a real-world setting in a multi-ethnic UK city.

“We have estimated that on average people with type 2 diabetes only see their healthcare professional for three hours a year, making Desmond even more vital to help and encourage people to manage, control and prevent type 2 diabetes.”

More information about the Desmond programme
Read the report in Practical Diabetes
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