24 June 2008
The number of people with diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate and more services are needed in the community to educate and support these people. That’s according toElaine Newell, Regional Development Officer for the Diabetes Federation of Ireland (DFI), who says it’s estimated that 200,000 people in Ireland have type 2 diabetes, with another 200,000 people who are unaware they have the condition.
Patient education has been shown to be an essential component of quality diabetes care and is effective in the promotion of health practices that could prevent or delay potential diabetes complications.Investigation by the Diabetes Federation of Ireland showed widespread inequality of access to diabetes community services including structured diabetes education programmes across the country. The development of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland structured diabetes education programme, Community Orientated Diabetes Education (CODE) was set up in response to this.
CODE is a type 2 diabetes course consisting of 8 hours of structured group education over six months. So far in Mayo, CODE has run in Belmullet, Achilland Claremorris and, with the demand for places, two courses took place in Achilland Claremorris. Elaine Newell, Regional Development Officer for the DFI, who delivers the course in Mayo, says: The participants on the CODE courses in Mayo say they have learnt a lot about diabetes from each other in a supportive, relaxed setting. The course is delivered on their doorstep and they now feel more motivated to look after their diabetes because, for the first time for many of them, they understand their blood targets, how to prevent complications of diabetes and incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into their lives.
Shelia O’Reilly from Achill, who attended the course, says: CODE helped us learn the basics about diabetes so we can understand and grasp the importance of diet, medications and exercise, a great way to network with other people with diabetes. I fully recommend this course as it was really excellent.
CODE supports people with diabetes through group learning and participation. It encourages participants to become confident in their diabetes self-care management and aims to improve quality of life through informed decision making. CODE also supports and supplements care from the individual’s own diabetes team’ so that knowledge and skills are reinforced and the taking of responsibility for personal self-management of diabetes is gradually strengthened.
Dr Noreen Curtis from Achill, who put her patients forward for CODE, says: The feedback from those who have attended has been extremely positive. They have a much better understanding of their condition, and are more interested in taking ownership of it and doing all they can to optimise control of their diabetes. They gained important knowledge in a relaxed, friendly environment, with the emphasis on interaction and sharing of experiences.
To find out how to get a place on CODE in your local area, ring the Diabetes Federation of Ireland at 071 9146001 or check the website www.diabetes.ie to register for upcoming courses.
Further information: Mary Garvin, HSE West Communications; Phone 091 77 5474
Last updated on: 25 / 06 / 2008