The worldwide epidemic of Type 2 diabetes necessitates evidence-based self-management education programmes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects and costs of an empowerment-based structured diabetes self-management education programme in an unselected group of patients with Type 2 diabetes. Seven hundred and two patients undergoing treatment by general practitioners (GPs) were included. The education comprised three modules over a 12-month period. It was based on the empowerment philosophy. The education followed a written curriculum, and the educators were given special training in its use. Glycemic control (HbA1c) was found to improve from 7.34 ± 1.34 to 6.88 ± 1.09%, P < 0.001 and body weight decreased from 90.9 ± 19.3 to 87.1 ± 18.1 kg, P < 0.001, following the education programme. Moreover, significant improvements were found in terms of fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, female waist circumference, lipid profile, quality of life, physical activity and the patients' knowledge of diabetes whilst the number of visits to GPs declined. This study supports the use of an empowerment vision as a basis for an interdisciplinary group-based education programme with individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the costs of implementing this education programme were found to be minimal.
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