Background: People with type 1 diabetes who attend structured education training in self-management using flexible intensive therapy achieve improved blood glucose control and experience fewer episodes of severe hypoglycaemia. However, many struggle to sustain these improvements over time. To inform the design of more effective follow-up support we undertook a review of qualitative studies which have identified factors that influence and inform participants' self-management behaviours after attending structured education and their need for support to sustain improvements in glycaemic control.
Methods: We undertook a meta-ethnography of relevant qualitative studies, identified using systematic search methods. Studies were included which focused on participants' experiences of self-managing type 1 diabetes after attending structured education which incorporated training in flexible intensive insulin therapy. A line of argument approach was used to synthesise the findings.
Results: The search identified 18 papers from six studies. The studies included were judged to be of high methodological quality. The line of argument synthesis developed the Follow-Up Support for Effective type 1 Diabetes self-management (FUSED) model. This model outlines the challenges participants encounter in maintaining diabetes self-management practices after attending structured education, and describes how participants try to address these barriers by adapting, simplifying or personalising the self-management approaches they have learned. To help participants maintain the skills taught during courses, the FUSED model presents ten recommendations abstracted from the included papers to provide a logic model for a programme of individualised and responsive follow-up support.
Conclusions: This meta-ethnography highlights how providing skills training using structured education to people with type 1 diabetes does not necessarily result in participants adopting and sustaining recommended changes in behaviour. To help people sustain diabetes self-management skills after attending structured education, it is recommended that support be provided over the longer-term by appropriately trained healthcare professionals which is responsive to individuals' needs. Although developed to inform support for people with type 1 diabetes, the FUSED model provides a framework that could also be applied to support individuals with other long term conditions which require complex self-management skills to be learned and sustained over time.
Trial Registration: PROSPERO registration: CRD42017067961.
- Type 1 diabetes
- Structured education
- Qualitative evidence synthesis