QUESTS Research Advisor Dr Jenny Mc Sharry recently published a qualitative study of educators and attendees perceptions of barriers and facilitators to attendance at Type 2 diabetes structured education programmes in Diabetic Medicine. Access the full paper here.
Twelve people who had attended at a structured education programme, and 14 educators, were interviewed and four themes were identified in the analysis.
The study adds to the international evidence as this is the first time that the experiences of people who have attended at Type 2 diabetes structured education programmes, and educators on the programmes, have been explored. People who have chosen to attend provide important insights into how recruitment onto programmes can work well, and educators have experience of both the day to day delivery of programmes and the broader healthcare system.
Similarly to an existing systematic review, the study identified “Can’t Go” practicalities of when and where courses took place and “Won’t Go” factors including participant’s attitudes, dislike of groups, and the non-symptomatic nature of diabetes as barriers to attendance.
The study also identified two new categories: “Don’t Know”- lack of knowledge of the existence and benefits of programmes and “Poor System Flow”- issues with healthcare system resources and lack of importance placed on education.
The study also identified facilitators to participants’ attendance and the strategies educators perceived to be important in increasing attendance. The study findings suggest that healthcare professionals have an important role in promoting attendance to increase awareness of the benefits of attending. The study concluded that improving attendance may require education to be better embedded and supported within the diabetes care pathway.
Jenny is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Assistant Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway.