The overall aim of this project is to develop and test a bespoke educational package to help people with severe mental illness and diabetes to manage their diabetes better. We also want to explore how this approach can be adapted for other long-term conditions.
Diabetes is more than twice as common in people with severe mental illness and has poorer outcomes than the general population. In England, around 44,000 people live with both conditions, (15% of all people with severe mental illness). Diabetes can lead to complications including heart disease, stroke, eye and kidney disease and premature death, and contributes significantly to the lower life expectancy for people with severe mental illness.
Since the start of the DIAMONDS Programme, we have carried out a systematic review of the literature on self-management of long-term conditions in people with severe mental illness. We have also run a qualitative study called DIAMONDS Quest where we interviewed service-users and their carers as well as health care professionals about their experiences. Findings from the review and the interviews have informed the development of the DIAMONDS intervention which was co-designed with service-users, carers, and clinicians in a series of workshops.
We are now preparing to test the DIAMONDS intervention, a supported diabetes self-management programme designed specifically for people with severe mental illness, to check it is acceptable for patients and that it can be successfully delivered. Following this we will compare the diabetes self-management programme to usual care in a trial.
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