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Diabetes education: the experiences of young adults with type 1 diabetes


INTRODUCTION: Clinician-led diabetes education is a fundamental component of care to assist people with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) self-manage their disease. Recent initiatives to incorporate a more patient-centered approach to diabetes education have included recommendations to make such education more individualized. Yet there is a dearth of research that identifies patients' perceptions of clinician-led diabetes education. We aimed to describe the experience of diabetes education from the perspective of young adults with T1D. METHODS: We designed a self-reported survey for Australian adults, aged 18-35 years, with T1D. Participants (n = 150) were recruited by advertisements through diabetes consumer-organizations. Respondents were asked to rate aspects of clinician-led diabetes education and identify sources of self-education. To expand on the results of the survey we interviewed 33 respondents in focus groups. RESULTS: SURVEY: The majority of respondents (56.0%) were satisfied with the amount of continuing clinician-led diabetes education; 96.7% sought further self-education; 73.3% sourced more diabetes education themselves than that provided by their clinicians; 80.7% referred to diabetes organization websites for further education; and 30.0% used online chat-rooms and blogs for education. Focus groups: The three key themes that emerged from the interview data were deficiencies related to the pedagogy of diabetes education; knowledge deficiencies arising from the gap between theoretical diabetes education and practical reality; and the need for and problems associated with autonomous and peer-led diabetes education. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that there are opportunities to improve clinician led-diabetes education to improve patient outcomes by enhancing autonomous health-literacy skills and to incorporate peer-led diabetes education and support with clinician-led education. The results provide evidence for the potential value of patient engagement in quality improvement and health-service redesign.

Type Journal
ISBN 1869-6953 (Print)
Authors Wiley, J. ; Westbrook, M. ; Long, J. ; Greenfield, J. R. ; Day, R. O. ; Braithwaite, J.;
Publisher Name Diabetes Therapy
Published Date 2014-01-01
Published Volume 5
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 299-321
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version