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Experiences of Attending Group Education to Support Insulin Initiation in Type 2 Diabetes: A Qualitative Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rebecca Upsher, Maya Allen-Taylor, Ilse Reece, Mark Chamley, Khalida Ismail, Angus Forbes, Kirsty Winkley

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalDiabetes Therapy
Issue number1
E-pub ahead of print15 Nov 2019


King's Authors


Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and many people require insulin therapy 5–10 years post diagnosis. Considering the global increase in type 2 diabetes, group education programmes to initiate insulin are beneficial as they are cost-effective and provide peer support. However, group education to initiate insulin has not been widely evaluated and there is a need to elicit the views and experience of people with type 2 diabetes who start insulin in groups. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of people with type 2 diabetes who receive nurse-led group-based insulin education.

Qualitative, semi-structured interviews of people with type 2 diabetes in south London, UK, who had attended group education sessions to start insulin. Inductive thematic analysis identified themes within the data.

Fifteen people with type 2 diabetes were interviewed. Three main themes were identified: creating a supportive environment; facilitator skills; and effectiveness of group. Factors which created a supportive environment included peer support, providing reassurance and printed materials. Facilitator skills associated with positive experiences included addressing negative insulin beliefs and managing group dynamics. The effectiveness of the group was determined by ongoing self-management success, need for more peer support, and insulin concerns post insulin education group.

Positive experiences of insulin group education for people with type 2 diabetes were associated with sharing experiences with other people starting insulin, reassurance from healthcare professionals, appropriate supportive materials, and skill of the facilitator to address insulin concerns and manage group dynamics. People with type 2 diabetes may benefit more from education if healthcare professionals are skilled in psychological techniques to facilitate group education aimed at addressing concerns around insulin therapy. Further research needs to assess the effectiveness of structured insulin group education for people with type 2 diabetes.

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