Diabetes Literacy

Seventh Framework Programme European Commission

Diabetes Literacy is a pan European project aimed at strengthening patient self-management by exploring what exists and works, as well as the potential for improvement. On this website we want to inform you about the project and about our major themes: diabetes literacy, self-management, prevention, health education and and economic aspects of diabetes care in Europe. The EC funded Diabetes Literacy project ended in 2016. However, partners are still active in publishing major outcomes.

Welcome to Diabetes Literacy

Diabetes is a great burden for many patients and a dilemma for European health systems and budgets. A challenge for many people with diabetes is to manage their illness. Individuals must learn self-management skills and make lifestyle changes to effectively manage diabetes and avoid or delay the complications associated with diabetes. Inadequate health literacy among people with diabetes is associated with worse diabetes outcomes. Educational interventions for self-management show positive results, but much is not known yet about the (cost-) effectiveness of these interventions.

Daily Physical Activity

Health literacy is concerned with the capacities of people to meet the complex demands of health in a modern society. Health literate means placing one's own health and that of one's family and community into context, understanding influencing factors, and knowing how to address them. Recent European research shows that about 12% of adults have inadequate general health literacy, and more than one third (35%) problematic health literacy, thus nearly every second citizen shows limited health literacy. 

Health Literacy & Medication

Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. About 32 million people in the European Union live with diabetes. With the ageing of the population and the increase of obesity trends in society the prevalence of diabetes will increase in the years to come. Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in blood is too high. The pancreas does not produce any insulin, or not enough, to help glucose enter body’s cells, or the insulin does not work properly. Insulin is the hormone that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy so we can live our lives.


Diabetes Literacy Project

    The goal of the Diabetes Literacy project is to provide  evidence to increase the effectiveness of diabetes self-management education in the EU. The outcomes will inform policy decisions on improving the care for the growing number of people with diabetes. Partners from six EU Member States, three non-EU Member states and two collaborating partners have performed a content analysis of national diabetes strategies across the EU and have mapped diabetes self-management programs in Europe. The cost and cost-effectiveness of different forms of self-management education were assessed, as well as the implementation fidelity of current programs. The moderating role of health literacy has been analysed. Digital literacy-appropriate materials have been developed and tested.

    The lastest news

    Thesis on Self-Management Education in South Africa


    Collaboration with the University of Pretoria results in thesis on SME for people with chronic diseases.

    Trial Web-Based Materials

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