Objective: To evaluate the effect of group-based diabetes dialogue meetings (DDMs) on diabetes distress, perceived competence and glycaemic control.
Methods: Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) were invited to DDMs with peers and healthcare professionals. The impact of participation was evaluated by change in diabetes distress measured by Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID), diabetes competence measured by Perceived Competence in Diabetes (PCD), change in HbA1c before and one year after the DDMs.
Results: 120 patients with T1D participated in at least one DDM: 75% female, mean age 50 years (range 21-76), mean diabetes duration 23 years (range 0-64); 39% of all participants had a baseline PAID score≥33, indicating high levels of distress. After one year, both PAID (from 30.4±16.6 to 27.4±17.1; n=81, p=0.03), and mean HbA1c (61.6±10.2 to 58.8±9.9; n=120, p<0.0001) had improved significantly. PCD showed no change. Meanwhile, the benefit from participating was rated high with a median of four out of five and the major gain being the possibility to share experiences with peers.
Conclusion: Group-based DDMs were highly appreciated by participants and associated with significant improvements in diabetes distress and HbA1c.
Practice implications: DDMs target a large group of patients using few staff resources.
Keywords: Chronic disease; Disease specific distress; Patient education; Patient participation; Peer support; Type 1 diabetes.
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