University study aims to improve access to diabetes education

Fri, 03 May 2013
People with type 2 diabetes in the town of Stornoway in the Scottish Highlands, are being called on help shape the way they receive information needed to help keep their condition under control.

A new study is being carried out by the University of the Highlands and Islands in partnership with NHS Western Isles to find out if new technologies, such as mobile apps, can be utilised to help improve access to information on all type 2 diabetes-related issues.

To assist their research, people with the condition are being asked to complete a questionnaire or attend focus groups being run in Stornoway over the next two months to have their say.

Health guidelines recommend that all adults with type 2 diabetes in Scotland should have access to diabetes education programmes.

According to Dr Jenny Hall, from the university's Centre for Rural Health, some of the most effective programmes bring patients together in group meetings, which involve Q&A session and discussions with a trained healthcare professional.

But in remote and rural areas such as the Western Isles, this is not always possible "as there may not be enough people locally to run sessions or people may have to travel a long way".

She added: "We are working with service users and providers to try to understand the issues and see if we can use technology to create a more accessible service.

"We hope to find out what technologies service users already have and will also look at any other options that might provide a solution, including smartphone apps, online meeting rooms and video-conferencing.

"I'd encourage people with type 2 diabetes to get in touch so they can help to shape the way they and others like them learn about their condition."
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