Background: Evidence-based, structured education is recommended for all people with diabetes; tailored to meet their personal needs and learning styles. Adult courses exist in the UK but are of limited value for children. The aim of this study was to adapt the adult Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) course to design a skills training course, for children aged 11-16 yr, focusing on self-management skills within an intensive insulin regime. To ensure that the course format meets the developmental, intellectual and social needs of children and adolescents and is delivered using educationally sound techniques.
Methods: Relevant professionals and potential users of the course were involved in curriculum design and content in the following ways: (i) The views of 95 pediatric diabetes specialist nurses were sought through a postal survey; (ii) Focus group discussions were conducted with children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and their families to contribute to content and design; and (iii) Secondary school teachers worked with experienced pediatric diabetes staff advising on educational content and teaching format.
Results: The developed curriculum uses a progressive modular-based structure to improve self-management in a variety of medical and social situations. It has clear learning objectives and is based on the format of UK schools curricula. Additional support is provided through dedicated parent sessions, involvement of friends and the provision of a school resource pack.
Conclusion: Collaborative working between health professionals, school teachers and families has resulted in an age-appropriate curriculum, which employs validated educational techniques. This will be refined following pilot courses before formal evaluation in a multicentre randomized controlled trial.