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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A psychological approach to providing self-management education for people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes Manual

Jackie Sturt1*, Hafrun Taylor2, Andrea Docherty3, Jeremy Dale1 and Taylor Louise2

Author Affiliations

1 Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

2 The Heart Manual project, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh, UK

3 Redditch and Bromsgrove Primary Care Trust, Redditch, UK

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BMC Family Practice 2006, 7:70  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-7-70

Published: 27 November 2006



The objectives of this study were twofold (i) to develop the Diabetes Manual, a self-management educational intervention aimed at improving biomedical and psychosocial outcomes (ii) to produce early phase evidence relating to validity and clinical feasibility to inform future research and systematic reviews.


Using the UK Medical Research Council's complex intervention framework, the Diabetes Manual and associated self management interventions were developed through pre-clinical, and phase I evaluation phases guided by adult-learning and self-efficacy theories, clinical feasibility and health policy protocols. A qualitative needs assessment and an RCT contributed data to the pre-clinical phase. Phase I incorporated intervention development informed by the pre-clinical phase and a feasibility survey.


The pre-clinical and phase I studies resulted in the production in the Diabetes Manual programme for trial evaluation as delivered within routine primary care consultations.


This complex intervention shows early feasibility and face validity for both diabetes health professionals and people with diabetes. Randomised trial will determine effectiveness against clinical and psychological outcomes. Further study of some component parts, delivered in alternative combinations, is recommended.