Small-scale strategies to improve diabetes awareness in those who need it most

After only a few hours at an outpatient diabetes clinic in Tanzania, it becomes apparent to any observer that most people with diabetes arrive unaccompanied. The lack of affordable transportation forces people to visit the clinics alone. Unfortunately, such behaviour not only fosters a lack of support from the family but also creates a gap between the family and the healthcare provider. When it comes to managing diabetes at a population level, a team approach is necessary that includes people with diabetes, their family and their healthcare providers.

The Steno Diabetes Center: from education to action

The Steno Diabetes Center was founded in 1932. It has since been a leading player in the struggle against diabetes through clinical care and development, and wide research activities. During the 1980s, the paternalistic model of care was shown to be inadequate to cover the demands of people with diabetes. The need for coaching, learning and education became clear. A team approach was gradually developed, involving nurses, dietitians and foot specialists, as well as physicians.

Lifestyle education for children - some useful strategies

In many cases, overweight and obesity in children constitute a grim warning for future health: if no action is taken, an overweight or obese child is likely to grow into an overweight or obese adult with a series of chronic health problems – among them, type 2 diabetes. Indeed, obesity-related health conditions, including the metabolic syndrome – a strong risk factor for cardiovascular diseases – are increasingly prevalent among children around the world.

Improving the quality of diabetes education in Vietnam - a community-based approach

Recent economic development in Vietnam, which has a population of nearly 90 million people, has been accompanied by rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes. However, diabetes management in general is far from optimum, due largely to the lack of specific education available to people with the condition. There is only a small number of specialized educators, and diabetes education is generally provided by doctors who do not have the time or background to carry out this work adequately.

Young people's needs and priorities for improved support and education: a call for action

Most young people’s lives are hectic. They all involve a degree of chaos, and the usual trials and tribulations of friendships, romance, college, and so on. Add the diabetes into the mix, with its unique challenges, and the situation can feel overwhelming. The authors of this report, young people who have been living with diabetes for some years, have all met several diabetes healthcare providers. Unfortunately, although many adults involved in diabetes care are keen to help young people to make the most of their life, this does not always appear to be the case.

Providing support and education to children with diabetes - specific needs, specific care

Ground-breaking research findings from the end of the last century demonstrated that the disabling and potentially life-threatening chronic complications of type 1 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by early and intensive blood glucose control. However, this strict and demanding regimen can present a major challenge for young people with the condition.

Using new technologies in diabetes education

A complex and ever-growing network of satellites, antennas, cables and fibre optics enables human beings to establish dialogues with each other between one place and another just about anywhere on the planet. While new technologies have made a deep and irreversible impact on many aspects of daily life, in health services, these have, for the time being, only penetrated the niches of pilot projects.

The need for tact, openness and honesty when talking about complications

Discussing the sensitive issue of long-term complications is difficult for people with diabetes and the healthcare providers who work with them. Consequently, this area of diabetes management is often not handled well. In some situations, healthcare providers are reluctant to impose 'unpleasant' information on people who might be struggling to cope with diabetes; in others, the potential risk of developing complications might be used as a threat in an attempt to scare people into following medical advice.

A case for including peers as providers of diabetes self-management education

Diabetes distinguishes itself from many other chronic conditions because of the complexity of its day-to-day management – both medical management and self-management, which must be carried out by people with diabetes on a sometimes hourly basis. People require self-management education in order to master these complexities. Kate Lorig discusses the complexity of diabetes self-management education, how it is currently delivered, and suggests an effective additional means of offering this education.

Implementing a post-graduate degree course for diabetes educators in Argentina

One reason for poor diabetes outcomes – the development of disabling, potentially life-threatening complications – is the lack of effective participation by people with diabetes in the management of their own condition. This participation is the key to successfully achieving therapeutic goals. To be able to follow a difficult and complex life-long regimen requires high levels of motivation and knowledge. Yet although extensive evidence supports this concept, only a minority of people receive appropriate diabetes education.