Self-care education not shown to be effective

Fri, 04 May 2012
Researchers have claimed that helping people to manage their diabetes though self-education courses offers little in the way of benefit in terms of their long-term lifestyle and health choices.

The study into education programmes for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes showed that there was no difference found in HbA1c levels, physical exercise or smoking for those who received a complete day of guidance on self-care of their diabetes not long after diagnosis.

The study, which involved over 800 patients from more than 200 general practices, examined elements such as lifestyle change, personal risk factors and typical care from their doctor. After three years, HbA1c levels were reduced in both the change group and a control group, with little difference found between the two.

Khamlesh Khunti, who led the study, said "It demonstrates that these patients need annual advice - a session every year, rather than a one-off programme when they are diagnosed - in order to see continued benefits with regard to lifestyle and biomedical outcomes."

The results of the research run counter to advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that says that diabetes patients should be offered structured education on diagnosis, and again every year from then on.
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