KICk-OFF is a structured skills training course for adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes that has been developed with their input and that of secondary school teachers.
Pilot evaluation demonstrated a positive impact on quality of life and self-efficacy and more detailed evaluation is currently underway in a randomised controlled trial, funded by Diabetes UK.
Independent review by academic experts in education has been very positive, as has feedback from parents and participants. A novel teaching skills course for health professionals has also been established.
In order to prevent the development of long-term complications of Type 1 Diabetes, such as eye and kidney problems, good blood glucose control is essential. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial demonstrated benefit from individuals injecting themselves several times a day with insulin.
Considerable skill is required to match this carefully to food intake and activity. Positive results from a study of the use of structured education to help adults acquire the necessary skills for this (the DAFNE pilot study, 2000) led to interest in similar training for children and young people (CYP).
With support from Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity, Diabetes UK and the adult DAFNE team it was agreed that a new structured education course for CYP be developed and evaluated. The majority of CYP in the UK were on twice-daily insulin regimens, with those on multiple-dose insulin (MDI) using only rudimentary skills in insulin dose adjustment – based largely on experiential learning.
Insulin infusion pump use was minimal. Those on MDI were largely adolescents, due to concerns about the ability of younger children to self-manage their diabetes in UK primary schools, where support for health issues was often poor.
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