Frequently asked questions

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about DAFNE. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact your nearest DAFNE centre or the OzDAFNE Project Officer.

There are DAFNE centres in most Australian states. DAFNE is also run in New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Kuwait. Please click here to find the details for the centre nearest to you.

The cost of the course varies from location to location. This is because each DAFNE centre has a different funding structure and different local costs, like room hire fees. Please contact your nearest DAFNE centre directly to find out how much their course will cost.   

Some people are already adjusting their own insulin doses. However, they may be basing their decisions on their blood glucose levels alone rather than also taking into account what they eat. DAFNE teaches carbohydrate counting skills that take the guesswork out of insulin dose adjustment. This lets you quickly build up the confidence to make changes to your doses as needed.

Confidence in adjusting your insulin is not the only benefit of going to a DAFNE course. There are many other topics covered during the five days including:

  • How to manage hypoglycaemia.
  • How to manage illness.
  • How to adjust insulin for sport and exercise.
  • Preventing complications.

People who have done the course also say that one of the best things they got out of the program was the chance to meet others with type 1 diabetes and share their experiences. 

We understand that sometimes it is hard to take five full days off work, study or other commitments. Managing diabetes already takes many hours out of people’s working lives. The DAFNE program may help to reduce this amount of lost work time. For example, DAFNE has been shown to improve blood glucose control, which lowers the risk of long-term complications. It can also decrease the risk of severe hypos. In turn, this means that you should not have to take as much time off work.

Some employers let people have paid leave to go to the course, while other people take annual leave for the five days. We can give you a letter for your employer to help you get the time off. This letter explains the DAFNE program and the benefits that it may have for your diabetes management.

It is important that you are able to manage your health in a way that you are comfortable with. Some people who have done the course have decided not to keep using the DAFNE approach. However, these people still found the course very useful and they still use some of the principles they learned to help them manage their diabetes.

The DAFNE program has been tested as a five-day group education course. This is the format that has been most successful in trials in Europe. Other ways of delivering the course could be successful for some people, but this hasn’t been proven yet.

The five-day intensive course format means that you can receive diabetes-specific education without the distractions of everyday life. It also lets you talk about your progress each day with ongoing support from experienced health professionals. The group format of the program means that you can meet others with type 1 diabetes, and can share and learn from each other's experiences during the course. Many DAFNE graduates say that the group sharing was the part of DAFNE that they learned the most from and enjoyed the most!

Better blood glucose control is only one of the benefits of DAFNE. Research about the DAFNE program shows us that DAFNE can improve your quality of life. It can also reduce the risk of severe hypoglycaemia by helping you get your hypo symptoms back if you have lost them. DAFNE can give you new ideas to help manage illness, exercise, and hypoglycaemia too.

We know that 1 or 2 mild hypos a week are not unusual and this is a normal part of living with diabetes. However, research into the Australian DAFNE program (OzDAFNE) has shown that severe hypos happen less often after a person has done a DAFNE course. The program may also bring back your hypo awareness symptoms. This lowers your risk of having a severe hypoglycaemic episode (where you need someone to help you treat the hypo).

No. The DAFNE program is delivered over five days with support from experienced Credentialled Diabetes Nurse Educators and Accredited Practising Dietitians. Your endocrinologist or doctor must agree for you to participate, and we keep them informed of any changes that you make during the program.

The DAFNE program teaches you how to make changes to your insulin one step at a time, based on the patterns of your blood glucose results. During the DAFNE course, you will practice adjusting your insulin doses at lunch time with the group and with guidance from the DAFNE health professionals. You will also talk about your experiences at evening meal times. This means that you will have many opportunities to practice adjusting your insulin doses, as well as hearing about the experiences of other members of your group.

The DAFNE program was designed for people with type 1 diabetes. There are major differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes – lifestyle changes are much more important in type 2 diabetes. It is true that people with type 2 diabetes who use insulin may benefit from the DAFNE principles for insulin adjustment. However, the DAFNE program as a whole would need to be significantly changed to make it suitable for people with type 2. If you have type 2 diabetes, we suggest that you speak to your diabetes care team about education programs that would suit your personal needs.

DAFNE was designed as a program for adults with type 1 diabetes, using adult learning and education principles, and covering adult topics. In this format, it is not suitable for children or teenagers under 18 years old.

However, we do know that some of the DAFNE principles are useful for children and teenagers under 18 years old. In 2012, Diabetes Australia – Vic received an Australian Commonwealth Government grant to design and run a new program for 14 to 18 year olds that is based on the adult DAFNE program. This program is called Teens Empowered to Actively Manage Type 1 Diabetes, or TEAM T1. Read more about TEAM T1