A Qualitative Evaluation of patients’ experiences of a Psychoeducational Programme to Restore Hypoglycaemia Awareness

Emma Shuttlewood, Nicole De Zoysa, Arthur Rankin, S. A. Amiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Aims: Impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (IAH) in people with type 1 diabetes is a dangerous condition that is associated with a six-fold greater risk of severe hypoglycaemia. A new psychoeducational programme, DAFNE-HART, has been specifically designed to address persistent IAH. The initial pilot showed promising outcomes including fewer hypoglycaemic episodes and improved hypoglycaemia awareness. This aim of this paper is to describe the development and qualitative evaluation of DAFNE-HART from participant interviews.Methods: DAFNE-HART incorporates diabetes education with two psychological approaches that have demonstrated efficacy in long-term health conditions: motivational interviewing and cognitive behaviour therapy. The course, delivered across two UK locations included both group and individual support over a six-week period facilitated by DAFNE educators, trained and supervised by a clinical psychologist. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 participants immediately after their courses and the interviews were analysed using grounded theory.Results: Five main themes emerged which describe the behavioural changes people made to their diabetes management, the development of new attitudes and beliefs, their experiences of regaining hypoglycaemia cues, reactions to the course format and the significance of the relationship with their care provider. Participants provide insights into how the course changed their view of IAH and led to practical changes in minimising hypoglycaemia.Conclusions: Integration of psychological techniques into diabetes education can address the cognitive and motivational barriers to restoring awareness and optimal diabetes management. It is suggested that further research is needed to evaluate this programme in a larger sample and to measure sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Early online date19 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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