What is DAFNE?

What is DAFNE?

DAFNE stands for Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating.

DAFNE is a five-day outpatient group education program. It equips participants with the tools to self-manage their insulin doses. During the DAFNE course, participants will learn how to:

  • Count carbohydrate and calculate quick-acting insulin doses according to their carbohydrate intake
  • Correct blood glucose levels if needed
  • Adjust long-acting (background) insulin to approximate basal insulin requirements
  • Evaluate their blood glucose patterns and adjust both quick-acting and background insulin (on separate occasions, not at the same time) to attain blood glucose levels in the target range

We collect biochemical, anthropometric and quality of life data in order to assess the effectiveness of the program for each participant. This data is collected before the 5-day DAFNE course begins, and twelve months after it finishes.

The following benefits of the program have been shown both in Australia and in the United Kingdom:

  • Improved HbA1c
  • Reduced diabetes distress, depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Increased dietary freedom
  • No weight gain
  • No increase in blood fats
  • No increase in severe hypoglycaemia (In Australian studies of DAFNE we have found that severe hypoglycaemia has been reduced).

Read more about the potential benefits of the DAFNE program by visiting the Evidence and Data section.

Who can attend?

A person must meet the following criteria in order to attend the DAFNE program:

  • Have type 1 diabetes
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Not be on a pump
  • Take one or two injections of long acting insulin each day and quick acting insulin each time you eat
  • Be willing to inject, check and record your blood glucose levels at least four or five times a day
  • Be prepared to adjust your own insulin according to what you eat, your blood glucose levels, and other factors (for example, exercise)
  • Be able to attend all five days of the program from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Be able to speak, understand and read English

Please note: There are times when we may need more information before deciding if a person can attend a DAFNE course. Some examples are if a person has an HbA1c of greater than 12%, is pregnant, or has severe complications from their diabetes.

To see what the program involves in action, check out the video below (put together by Diabetes UK) of participants doing the UK DAFNE course in South-East London UK participant video