Aims Here, we describe the development and piloting of a community-based workshop in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. From the service evaluation perspective, the aim was to evaluate the feasibility of the workshop as a mode of delivery of health care information. For participants, we aimed not only to increase awareness of healthcare needs by enhancing their knowledge related to the aspects of diabetes management, but also to engage them in discussions in a community and group based setting.
Method We approached 174 patients identified from our clinical database, aged 15-20, using an assessment form (AF) to determine interest in attending a workshop and asking about specific topics of interest which were then incorporated into the designed programme. 44 AF were received back and invitation letters and a timetable then sent to 17 participants interested in attending, with 7 attending the workshop. Importantly, an integrative approach was utilised by involving the broad multidisciplinary adult and paediatric clinical teams in this programme, which dealt with medical, psychological and social aspects of diabetes management and was delivered using a variety of interactive tools. Within 8 weeks of the workshop, feedback was obtained using a structured outcome evaluation.
Results In summary, the outcome evaluation suggested that the workshop improved communication with health care professional, promoted more frequent BG testing and improved skills of carbohydrate counting and physical activity. Specifically, most participants reported enjoying the workshop (86%), learning about diabetes management (58%) and the ability to prioritise health care needs (72%). Most also reported improved confidence to communicate with peers (72%) and health care staff (72%). 57% said that they will now monitor blood glucose more frequently. When asked about workshop format, 44% suggested they would prefer the future workshops in a community setting and 57% suggested 2-3 hour duration.
Conclusion This workshop demonstrated a potentially feasible, effective and optimal method to deliver group based education in a community setting for young adults with type 1 diabetes focusing upon patient-centred approach. Participants appreciated the idea of attending the workshop with their peers and found it beneficial to learn about diabetes in a group setting.