Study: Participation in diabetes education associated with greater ability to self-manage

LIVERPOOL, England — Study results announced Thursday by Novo Nordisk and collaborative partners found that participation in diabetes education is associated with a greater sense of well-being and the ability to self-manage diabetes.

However, more than three-quarters of people with diabetes in the United Kingdom (78%) have never attended a diabetes education program, and family members are rarely included (79%). Additionally, only 14% of healthcare professionals say that all their patients with diabetes are offered structured diabetes education classes.

The findings of the DAWN2 study show that more than a quarter (26%) of people with diabetes experience diabetes-related distress. Yet family members also experience distress, with around half (47%) worrying about low blood sugar (hypoglycaemic) events, and nearly 1-in-10 (9%) family members likely having depression.

The DAWN2 global study of diabetes was conducted among 15,000 people in 17 countries, including 900 people with diabetes, family members, caregivers and healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom. 

“DAWN2 reveals the burden on families of those living with diabetes. Families are worried about their loved one’s future, fearful about aspects such as hypoglycaemia, and keen to help when it comes to self-management," said Simon O'Neill, director of Health Intelligence at Diabetes UK and DAWN2 steering committee member. "We must take a person-centered approach to diabetes care that includes all those involved — the individual, their family network and the healthcare professional community. We need to work together to create a plan of care based on the person’s individual needs."

In response to these findings, a national action plan has been launched to help improve diabetes care in the United Kingdom. The DAWN2 action plan has been developed by an independent, multidisciplinary group with the support of Novo Nordisk, and will provide innovative tools and resources to people living with and caring for diabetes, as part of a three-year program. 

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