Aim: To evaluate the Take Five School (TFS) group education programme for patients with Type 2 Diabetes in South Africa.
Methods: Questionnaires, administered before and after 4 sessions of an hour each of group education, measured the effect on self-care activities in 84 patients from 6 different clinics. Individual interviews with health care workers (HCWs) and focus group interviews (FGI's) with patients explored attitudes.
Results: A significant improvement in adherence to a diabetic diet, physical activity, foot care and the perceived ability to teach others was seen. There was no significant change in smoking or adherence to medication. Qualitative data revealed that comprehensive education was appreciated, that the group process was deemed supportive, that HCWs doubt the effect of education in general and that a combination of group and individual sessions was seen as an option worth exploring. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the TFS are identified. Recommendations are made to improve the programme and its environment.
Conclusion: Significant self-reported improvements in self-care activities after a group-education programme support the view that introducing structured group education for Type 2 Diabetics in a South African public sector primary care context holds promise. Group education for diabetics, especially in resource limited settings, should be sustained and further research should focus on clinical outcomes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Group education; Primary care; Self-management skills.
Copyright © 2013 Primary Care Diabetes Europe. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.