Canadian Health: Diabetes Education
Is it scary diabetes? this question will try to answer team “acanadianhealthcaremall.com“
I have had Type 2 diabetes for nearly two years and still feel rather uncertain about what this condition entails. A workmate has just been diagnosed and went to something called DESMOND. He was very impressed with the course and learned more about his diabetes in one day than I have in two years. Why was I not told about this?
As we heard in the previous question, people who have been told they have Type 2 diabetes are often left in the lurch with very little information and understanding of what difference it will make in their lives. The newly diagnosed part of DESMOND is now well-established and being taken up by more areas. The Ongoing DESMOND programme is being trialled in a number of centres and should become widely available in the near future. DESMOND is also being developed for use in other languages for people who do not speak English. The programme is based on recognised principles of adult learning. People are invited in groups of eight, with their partners if they wish. The sessions are run by two nurses or dietitians, who have been specifically trained to deliver patient education. Ideally people should have access to a DESMOND session within four weeks of diagnosis. Afterwards they should be able to identify their own health risks and set their own specific goals.
So far only sessions for the newly diagnosed have been fully developed and a research project to test its effectiveness will soon be completed. The ongoing part of the programme, which is designed to provide continuing education, is being planned and will follow the same principles.
Other educational programmes have been developed, for example X-PERT. You should enquire whether structured education is available in your area and if so, should try to take part.
I have heard about the DESMOND programme and would like to take part in it. However I’ve been told that it is not available in my area. Is there any way I can get onto a course?
It is frustrating for everyone that it has taken so long to roll out DESMOND throughout the country. Fifteen centres in the UK took part in the pilot study for the DESMOND project early in 2004 and a formal research project was completed and published in 2008. However, it takes time to train the educators and put the structures in place to deliver the programme. Most difficult of all has been the problem of finding new money to fund DESMOND at a time when the NHS is in financial hardship. We know of one area where the local branch of Diabetes UK has joined with Lions International to raise money to pay for DESMOND courses. At the time of writing, 110 centres in the UK are signed up for DESMOND and the plan is that the course will be available to everyone with Type 2 diabetes. Some areas have adopted different educational programmes (such as X-PERT) and provided these have been properly evaluated, they will be equally valuable. Diabetes UK has recommended ways of assessing education courses and you can access this information from their website.