DAFNEplus: Developing and trialling the DAFNEplus (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) intervention. A lifelong approach to promote effective self-management in adults with type 1 diabetes

The University of Sheffield, Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) and ScHARR staff have been awarded a five and half year programme grant from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Programme Grants for Applied Research. The aim of this £2.7 million programme is to re-develop and evaluate the DAFNE programme to help people with type 1 diabetes to better manage their condition in line with their lifestyle.


The DAFNEplus research programme involves research groups from across the UK, and is led by Professor Simon Heller, Professor of Clinical Diabetes at the University of Sheffield and Research and Development Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

This project will see the introduction of a number of programmes, models and improvements to the existing DAFNE programme. By combining behaviour change techniques and a structured model of support with new technology (such as smartphones and apps), the aim is that adult sufferers will be supported and motivated to manage their own conditions as part of their everyday lives in the longer term.

Once the research has completed, the aim is to provide the full programme as a sustained model of support rather than an initial standalone course. A number of multi-disciplinary workstreams, outlined below, will develop the intervention before the pilot study with three centres, starts in March 2017:

Workstream 1: Revising the DAFNE Curriculum (Lead: Professor Simon Heller)
Workstream 2: Developing structured support (Leads: Dr David Hopkins; Dr Peter Mansell)
Workstream 3: Technology (Lead: Dr Jackie Elliott)

If the pilot is successful, this will be followed by a 14 centre cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) starting in September 2018. The large scale trial plans to recruit 660 patients to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of DAFNEplus. The primary outcome is blood glucose control, as well as quality of life and relevant psychological outcomes. The RCT also includes a qualitative sub-study and assessment of intervention fidelity.

Follow the progress of the DAFNEplus programme grant via social media:
Blog: https://dafneplusresearch.wordpress.com
Twitter: @dafneplus