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Training for GP nurses has big impact on people struggling with type 2 diabetes

Research at the University of Warwick has shown a training programme for general practice nurses has had a significant impact on people struggling to keep their type 2 diabetes under control.

The research team has evaluated the impact of the Warwick Diabetes Care Intensive Management of Type 2 Diabetes programme over three years. The course shows nurses how to help people initiate insulin therapy as part of their daily routine.

Until recently, in the UK people with type 2 diabetes requiring insulin were usually referred to secondary care in hospitals if their condition could not be controlled with oral medication and daily insulin injections were now required.

This training programme which is part of the “Insulin for Life” programme which is supported by an educational grant from Sanofi-aventis enables nurses to offer advice and support to people moving on to a daily insulin regime within a GP setting.

55 general practices across the UK took part in the study, published in Primary Care Diabetes, and data on 516 patients was contributed.

The study evaluated the three year impact of initiating basal insulin on glycaemic control (HBA1c) and weight gain in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes who volunteered to take part in an insulin initiation training programme.

Data were collected at the beginning of the study, then at 3 months, 6 months and subsequent six monthly intervals.

The results showed at 36 months 41% of people had achieved the target of a HbA1c of 7.4%, including 29% who had achieved a HbA1c of 7% or less. HbA1c is a measure of the levels of glucose in the blood.

Lead author Professor Jeremy Dale said: “This study shows that attending an insulin initiation training programme may successfully prepare primary healthcare professionals to help people with type 2 diabetes who are struggling to control their condition to initiate daily insulin therapy. The improvements in glycaemic control for these patients were maintained over the three-year period.”

The research project was supported by an educational grant from Sanofi-Aventis.

Notes to editors

For more information or to speak to Professor Dale, please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Communications Manager, 02476 150483, 07824 540863