Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 27 S15

Diabetes self-management education: can it change diabetes outcomes?

Sheridan Waldron

Diabetes self-management education (DSME) in the UK is less well defined in paediatrics than in adults. Moreover, there is no nationally validated programme of education for paediatrics consequently the 70% of services that offer structured education have developed them locally. As we move towards a new system of payment for paediatric diabetes, the Best Practice Tariff, services will need to demonstrate that they supply a structured education programme from diagnosis and throughout on-going care.

The SWEET Project EU (2008–2011) was initiated to improve standards of care across Europe. Comparing and contrasting models of education between countries has highlighted the significance and major contribution that education makes to diabetes outcomes. Countries that have adopted a holistic approach to education through: organised, standardised, validated education for children and young people, (CYP), their families and health care professionals (HCPs) show impressive clinical outcome data. However, studies show that centre differences still exist but strong benefits have been found from: intensive education at diagnosis; standardised age and maturity on-going education; accredited diabetes educators; a multi-disciplinary approach; larger clinic size and maintaining contact with young people. Data also suggests lower glycated haemoglobin improves quality of life in CYP.

Data from the recent National Diabetes Audit shows the glycaemic control of our CYP with diabetes is extremely poor in comparison to some European counterparts. We have no option but to make radical changes to our present models of care and the delivery of Diabetes Self-management education. The UK can benefit from the experiences of countries that have developed a holistic, validated and standardised programme of education for CYP, their families and HCPs.

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