Researchers have assessed some of the ways in which structured education programmes benefit young people with type 1 diabetes.
The research team from the University of Sheffield made the conclusion after reviewing the experiences of teenagers and young adults who had taken part in a diabetes self-management course.
Seven focus groups involving people who had been on a programme were staged and 15 additional interviews were carried out by nurses and dietitian educators 12 weeks after the course was completed.
Themes that came out of the discussions were:
A sense of belonging with others on the course – being ‘in it together’
Having a clear understanding of the benefits of the course – ‘tacit benefits’
How people were adjusting to self-management after the course – ‘transitions beyond the structured education programme’.

The findings from the interviews and focus groups showed that the education programmes helped people with type 1 diabetes with critical thinking and to engage in their own self-management of the condition whereby the programmes met three factors.
The three factors identified were:
If feelings of isolation decreased, this fostered greater learning
If the content is delivered in a flexible manner, this increased engagement with the course
If the social and emotional needs of the course participants are met.
In conclusio, the researchers stated: “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.”
The study was published in the journal Diabetic Medicine.
To help people with type 1 diabetes, Diabetes.co.uk has published a book in partnership with Dr David Cavan called ‘Take Control of Type 1 Diabetes’, which provides a step-by-step plan to support people manage the condition.
We will also be launching our newest educational program, the Type 1 Program, in the near future. The program is geared towards helping people with the condition control their diabetes by modifying their carbohydrate intake.

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