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Open Access Research article

A controlled trial of the effectiveness of a diabetes education programme in a multi-ethnic community in Glasgow [ISRCT28317455]

Hamid R Baradaran12*, Robin P Knill-Jones2, Sunita Wallia3 and Alison Rodgers4

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Education & Development Centre, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, 14496, Iran

2 Public Health and Health Policy Section, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK

3 120–130 William Street Clinic Glasgow G3 8UR, UK

4 Rutherglen Primary Care Centre, 130 Stonelaw Road, NHS Greater Glasgow, UK

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BMC Public Health 2006, 6:134  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-134

Published: 18 May 2006



Epidemiologic data have shown that the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes varies with ethnic origin. Type 2 diabetes is up to four times more common in British South Asians than in the indigenous white population. The aim of this study was to develop a culturally appropriate educational intervention programme for South Asians with Type 2 diabetes. We then investigated whether this intervention could produce an improvement, and finally whether any improvement was greater than background changes in knowledge in comparison groups.


A multi-site prospective, randomised controlled study was conducted in all day care centres and three general practice registers with high proportion patients from different ethnic minority groups in Glasgow, Scotland. The intervention consisted of 18 educational sessions in 6 separate programmes. A modified questionnaire was used to measure the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of diabetes before and after intervention.


Baseline assessment showed that Indian and Pakistani subjects had less knowledge about diabetes, regarded the disease less seriously, and had a lesser understanding of the relationship between control and complications than the white population. No differences in initial responses were found between those who completed the second assessment and those who did not. The intervention group showed significant improvements in scores for Knowledge (+12.5%); Attitudes toward seriousness (+13.5%), complications (+8.1%), Practice (+20.0%). However there were also changes in the ethnic control group scores; respectively +5.0%, +16.3% (significant P < 0.001), +1.5%, +1.7%. The single white control group also showed some improvements; respectively +12.2%, +12.4% (P = 0.04), +6.0%, +25.0% (P = 0.007), but the differences in improvement between these two control groups were not significant. Overall, the improvement seen was similar in both intervention and ethnic control groups and there was no significant difference in the amount of change (P = 0.36 CI -0.9 to +2.6).


This study has shown that conducting a culturally-competent educational intervention in patients with Type 2 diabetes from ethnic minority groups is feasible and can improve their knowledge and attitudes and practice. However there was no net benefit compared with the control group.