Participants’ experiences of attending a structured education course (DAFNEplus) informed by behavioural science

Julia Lawton*, Paul Chadwick, Nicole De Zoysa, Stephanie Stanton-Fay, Simon R. Heller, David Rankin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Aims: As part of a broader evaluation, we explored participants’ experiences of, and engagement with, the DAFNEplus programme’s group-based structured education course. This course, which was informed by behavioural science, provided participants with education and instruction to use flexible intensive insulin therapy (FIIT) together with techniques to identify and address unhelpful cognitive and emotional influences on their type 1 diabetes self-management.
Methods: We interviewed n=28 DAFNEplus participants. Data were analysed thematically and took account of previous work exploring individuals’ experiences of standard DAFNE courses.
Results: As well as benefitting from the DAFNEplus course’s skills-based training and educational curriculum, participants’ accounts suggested they had experienced cognitive and emotional changes that had positively influenced their confidence and motivation to adopt and sustain use of FIIT. These benefits were most keenly felt by those who reported negative emotional states and mind-sets pre-course which had made their diabetes self-management challenging. Participants’ cognitive and emotional changes were enabled through techniques used during the course to normalise setbacks and imperfect diabetes self-management, capitalise upon group synergies and encourage use of social support, including from healthcare professionals. Participants also highlighted motivational gains arising from being reassured that diabetes complications are not common or inevitable if a FIIT regimen is followed.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that offering training in FIIT, in conjunction with behaviour change techniques that target unhelpful mind-sets and emotional resilience, may be more effective in promoting diabetes self-management than offering education and skills training alone.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15309
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Early online date15 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • behaviour change
  • qualitative research
  • self- management
  • structured education
  • type 1 diabetes
  • user experience


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