diabetes education

Diabetes Education

‘Credentialled Diabetes Educator’ is the nationally accepted credential for the quality assured provision of diabetes self management education. Physiotherapy Links now offers this service.

Diabetes self management education is a specialty area of practice and is both a therapeutic and educational intervention. It has as its overarching goal the optimal health and well being of people affected by diabetes. Diabetes self management education as defined by ADEA and as practiced by Credentialled Diabetes Educators.

Credentialled Diabetes Educators promote optimal health and well being for individuals (or their carers), communities and populations at risk of, or affected by, diabetes using a range of specialised knowledge and skills. They integrate diabetes self management education with clinical care as part of a therapeutic intervention to promote physical, social and psychological well being.

Credentialled Diabetes Educators adopt a client centred approach to the provision of diabetes self management education to help people to:

  • understand their personal health risks
  • explore the meaning and implications of these risks in the context of their personal, social and cultural world and in terms of their current behaviour; and to
  • activate them to determine a comprehensive self management plan that will maximise their health outcomes.

A wide range of health care providers provide some form of diabetes education. Such providers include general practitioners and practice nurses, other generalist nurses, allied health professionals and Indigenous health workers. In addition, all members of the multidisciplinary diabetes team provide discipline specific diabetes education to support their clinical intervention. ADEA (Australian Diabetes Education Association) acknowledges the critical role played by all of these health care providers.

However, the term ‘Credentialled Diabetes Educator’ is used by the ADEA to identify those health professionals who provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary diabetes self management education as described below and who meet the criteria of the ADEA Credentialling Program.

Behavior change has been identified by the AADE as the unique outcome of diabetes self management education and within this outcome area, the AADE has identified key self care behaviors that contribute to other diabetes outcomes. These are:

  • being physically active
  • healthy eating
  • taking medications for therapeutic effectiveness
  • monitoring blood glucose and using results to improve control
  • problem solving for high and low blood glucose levels and for sick days
  • reducing risks of diabetes complications
  • adapting to living with diabetes or healthy coping.

Resource: Australian Diabetes Educators Association. The Credentialled Diabetes Educator in Australia. Role and scope of Practice in Australia. Canberra, ACT, 2007.