AIMS: Patient education for the management of Type 2 diabetes can be delivered in various forms, with the goal of promoting and supporting positive self-management behaviours. This systematic review aimed to determine the effectiveness of group-based interventions compared with individual interventions or usual care for improving clinical, lifestyle and psychosocial outcomes in people with Type 2 diabetes.
METHODS: Six electronic databases were searched. Group-based education programmes for adults with Type 2 diabetes that measured HbA1c and followed participants for ≥ 6 months were included. The primary outcome was HbA1c , and secondary outcomes included fasting blood glucose, weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood lipid profiles, diabetes knowledge and self-efficacy.
RESULTS: Fifty-three publications describing 47 studies were included (n = 8533 participants). Greater reductions in HbA1c occurred in group-based education compared with controls at 6-10 months [n = 30 studies; mean difference (MD) = 3 mmol/mol (0.3%); 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.48, -0.15; P = 0.0002], 12-14 months [n = 27 studies; MD = 4 mmol/mol (0.3%); 95% CI: -0.49, -0.17; P < 0.0001], 18 months [n = 3 studies; MD = 8 mmol/mol (0.7%); 95% CI: -1.26, -0.18; P = 0.009] and 36-48 months [n = 5 studies; MD = 10 mmol/mol (0.9%); 95% CI: -1.52, -0.34; P = 0.002], but not at 24 months. Outcomes also favoured group-based education for fasting blood glucose, body weight, waist circumference, triglyceride levels and diabetes knowledge, but not at all time points. Interventions facilitated by a single discipline, multidisciplinary teams or health professionals with peer supporters resulted in improved outcomes in HbA1c when compared with peer-led interventions.
CONCLUSIONS: Group-based education interventions are more effective than usual care, waiting list control and individual education at improving clinical, lifestyle and psychosocial outcomes in people with Type 2 diabetes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.