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Structured education has been recommended for all patients with type 2 diabetes. Provision of appropriate education should recognize diverse language and literacy needs. This project formed part of the process of developing the DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and newly Diagnosed) programme. The aim was to investigate the training and use of lay educators and interpreters to provide DESMOND education for two South Asian populations in Leicester and Peterborough. This investigation formed part of an action research project involving an iterative, reflective process of development, piloting and evaluation. The process was informed by the use of qualitative research methods including collection and analysis of data from observation, focus groups and interviews. Findings showed that the action research approach was considered useful in terms of facilitating the development process through identification of key issues and focused reflection. After an initial two-day training programme, interpreters were competent to act as facilitators, but longer patient contact time and more personnel were needed for sessions delivered via interpretation. More intensive training needs were indicated for lay educators. The trainees’ learning experience was influenced by high levels of diabetes in themselves or their families. Pilot education sessions were well received and positively evaluated by patients. These findings showed that the methodological approach adopted worked well and was considered to have added rigor to the process of developing a modified version of an existing education module. Careful consideration needs to be given to training needs and the comparative training and provision costs associated with using interpreters or lay educators.
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Author(s): Margaret A Stone Naina Patel Heather Daly Lorraine Martin Stacey Sayjal Amin Marian Carey Kamlesh Khunti Melanie J Davies