Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE)

Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) is a structured diabetes education programme that has been running at Addenbrooke's since 2002. It is a group education programme for people living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM). The programme is delivered over 5 days (Monday to Friday) to a group of 6-8 people with T1DM. The course is delivered by a doctor, diabetes specialist nurse and diabetes specialist dietitian.

Aims of the course:

To help people with type 1 diabetes eat what they want, when they want

To adjust their insulin to their lifestyles and not the other way around

To improve blood glucose levels, potentially reducing the risk of diabetic complications without any increase in severe hypos or low blood sugars

DAFNE course covers:

  • What is diabetes?
  • carbohydrate counting and glycaemic index
  • insulin action, injection technique and injection equipment
  • blood sugar testing and meters
  • hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) treatment
  • hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) treatment
  • exercise
  • eating out and alcohol
  • illness and sick day rules
  • weight management
  • travel
  • pregnancy, if appropriate

DAFNE insulin regimen ( 4 – 5 insulin injections per day):

  • Long-acting/background insulin once or twice a day (morning and evening)
  • Quick-acting insulin with carbohydrate containing meals and snacks

People who might benefit from attending a DAFNE course:

  • Type 1 diabetes for at least 6 months (or post the ‘honeymoon’ phase)
  • Motivated to improve diabetes control
  • Need for flexibility of eating / insulin regimen
  • Willing to inject insulin 4 - 5 times a day
  • Willing to test blood glucose levels 4 - 5 times per day (this excludes additional tests required when driving, hypo or unwell as part of good diabetes management)
  • Able to speak / understand English
  • Willing/Able to attend the full 5 day course (course either over 1 week: Mon – Fri or over 5 weeks: 1 day per week)
  • Willing/Able to partake in the education in a group setting

The DAFNE programme is run through England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland as well as Australia. It fulfils all the Department of Health’s guidelines on delivering high quality structured education and was mentioned in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence’s guidance on structured diabetes education.

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