Frequently asked questions
Below are the answers to some questions that health professionals often ask about DAFNE. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact your nearest DAFNE centre or the OzDAFNE Project Officer.
There is no formal referral process for the DAFNE program. People with type 1 diabetes who meet the suitability criteria should contact their local DAFNE centre directly for bookings and more information. We will then contact their endocrinologist or treating doctor for written approval for them to attend the program. All participants will be required to have blood and urine tests completed no more than two months before their five-day course begins.
The DAFNE program is a package in which all parts are mutually dependent. This includes both the resources and the curriculum. It also includes the delivery of these by trained DAFNE facilitators. The DAFNE Educator Program (DEP) is a comprehensive health professional training course. This ensures that the staff delivering DAFNE are fully trained and competent in all aspects of the program. It also ensures that the resources and curriculum are used in an appropriate and standardised manner. It is in this complete package that DAFNE has been evaluated and demonstrated to be most effective.
The DAFNE program has been evaluated as an intensive group education course running across five consecutive days. The five-day intensive course format means that participants can receive concentrated diabetes-specific education without many of the distractions of everyday life. They can also discuss their progress each day with ongoing support from experienced health professionals. This allows participants to be more experimental with new ways because their results will be discussed within 24 hours.
So far, the intensive format has proven most successful in European trials and in the UK. It is possible that other ways of delivering DAFNE could also be successful for some people. Other formats are currently being evaluated – read more here. A small number of Australian centres will be trialling a new "5-week" format in 2014. In this format, participants attend the course one day per week for five weeks rather than the standard five consecutive days. The centres trialling the new format are marked in the Find a Centre section.
Many health professionals say that they already offer something similar to the DAFNE program for their patients. There will be simple content and format differences between different insulin adjustment programs. However, evaluation is the main difference between DAFNE and centre-specific insulin adjustment education programs.
DAFNE has been evaluated in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It has shown improved outcomes for thousands of people. Strict quality assurance and training standards ensure that a consistent program is provided to all. In turn, this allows for comparison of data across centres and countries.
The “DAFNE” name is recognised by endocrinologists and other diabetes staff. It is also familiar to many people with diabetes. This recognition is increasing and often people are willing to travel long distances to attend DAFNE through reputation alone.
Learning to be a DAFNE Facilitator is a skill and needs time and practice. The DEP is based on adult education principles. It contains all the elements necessary for an adult to learn a new skill (observation, practice, reflection). It has been developed with expert educational advice. Feedback from diabetes nurse educators and dietitians who have completed the DEP suggest that if anything, it is too short.
There is no doubt that preparing for and delivering DAFNE is labour intensive. However, DAFNE has a unique spectrum of outcomes when compared to the traditional management of type 1 diabetes.
Furthermore, DAFNE Facilitators agree that delivering the DAFNE program is so rewarding that any effort is well worth it. One facilitator stated, "The job satisfaction that I get from teaching DAFNE makes the rest of my job worthwhile."