The OzDAFNE training program needs specific long-term government funding so that it can continue to deliver substantial improvements for people living with type 1 diabetes, experts say.
The Australian Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (OzDAFNE) program receives no specific funding from the government, despite halving rates of serious hypoglycaemic events and diabetic ketoacidosis the Victorian researchers from Deakin University say.
“Whilst many aspects of diabetes care (eg, glucose test strips and insulin pump consumables) receive substantial funding subsidies from the Australian government, no specific funding is available for the provision of structured education for people with type 1 diabetes,” they wrote in their paper published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.
The researchers analysed the outcomes of over 500 patients with type 1 diabetes who had attended the intensive self management training course involving insulin dose adjustment and carbohydrate counting.
They found that the proportion of patients experiencing serious hypoglycaemic events and diabetic ketoacidosis almost halved after taking part in the five-day training program.
Related story: OzDAFNE celebrates a decade
Overall glycaemic control also appeared to improve, with a 0.7% reduction (7mmol/mol) in HbA1C levels among the most at risk patients.
Patients who attended the course also showed a significant reduction in severe diabetes-related stress.
“We believe OzDAFNE merits specific long-term funding from a national source to maintain and expand the program,” the study authors wrote.
At the moment the reach of the OzDAFNE program was highly variable – with 10 centres in Victoria but only one each in New South Wales and Western Australia.
The researchers noted that it was difficult to recruit new centres without dedicated funding to support the training and infrastructure for delivering structured education in small groups.
The cost of providing such training is highly likely to be offset by reduced costs related to hospital admissions for diabetes complications both acute and long-term, they say.
DAFNE stands for Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating and has been adapted from the original course taught in Germany. The main objective of the course is to allow more flexibility for people with type 1 diabetes who are on multiple daily injections. To find out more click here.