The importance of education in the management of diabetes is recognised but has rarely been assessed in children. In a longitudinal controlled study we have examined the effect of a programme of education on the knowledge, diet, and concentration of glycated haemoglobin A1c in a group of diabetics. The programme took the form of two packages of education each consisting of four weekly meetings, in which small groups of parents and older children were led in a discussion of different aspects of diabetes. Only one of the 119 families who began the study failed to complete it. Family knowledge about diabetes improved as a result of the programme, although this was poorly retained in the fathers. A trend to improvement in several aspects of diet was noted but did not reach significance. A significant fall in glycated haemoglobin A1c was apparent seven months after the education in children aged 11 years and over. Those whose initial control was poor improved most. We conclude that such meetings should be considered as a useful adjunct to regular diabetic clinics.
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