Background: The marked increase of type 2 diabetes necessitates active development and implementation of efficient prevention programs. A European level action has been taken by launching the IMAGE project to unify and improve the various prevention management concepts, which currently exist within the EU. This report describes the background and the methods used in the development of the IMAGE project quality indicators for diabetes primary prevention programs. It is targeted to the persons responsible for diabetes prevention at different levels of the health care systems.
Methods: Development of the quality indicators was conducted by a group of specialists representing different professional groups from several European countries. Indicators and measurement recommendations were produced by the expert group in consensus meetings and further developed by combining evidence and expert opinion.
Results: The quality indicators were developed for different prevention strategies: population level prevention strategy, screening for high risk, and high risk prevention strategy. Totally, 22 quality indicators were generated. They constitute the minimum level of quality assurance recommended for diabetes prevention programs. In addition, 20 scientific evaluation indicators with measurement standards were produced. These micro level indicators describe measurements, which should be used if evaluation, reporting, and scientific analysis are planned.
Conclusions: We hope that these quality tools together with the IMAGE guidelines will provide a useful tool for improving the quality of diabetes prevention in Europe and make different prevention approaches comparable.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart-New York.