Podcasts for teenagers with diabetes are a hit

A series of audio podcasts developed last year by diabetes specialists at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for young people with Type 1 diabetes have proved a big hit.

In the eight months following the launch of the Diabetes Podcasts, there have been a total of 4,114 hits and 440 downloads from a population of around 350 young adults with Type 1 diabetes and their families. The podcasts are believed to be the first of their type in the NHS.

The most popular podcast about Type 1 diabetes with 744 plays was about living with diabetes and playing sports. The most downloaded podcast was the introduction to Type 1 diabetes.

Consultant paediatric diabetologist Dr Vipan Datta, from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said; “We were struggling with this age group. They don't talk to you readily; they don't tend read material you give them. There’s a gap in communication, and podcasts seemed a good way to bridge it.”

The podcasts were developed to give non-technical advice in a style appropriate for over 14s with a view to helping them manage their diabetes. The podcasts can be downloaded from www.nnuh.nhs.uk/media.asp or the NNUH channel on iTunes.

The podcasts were the idea of Chris Nicolaou, of Takeda, who first raised the concept with the team at the Elsie Bertam Diabetes Centre at the university hospital. The Elsie Bertram team and Dr Vipan Datta, consultant paediatric diabetologist suggested they would be particularly useful for teenagers.

Dr Datta worked with other members of the Jenny Lind diabetes team to develop frank and honest lifestyle advice for people aged 14+ who have Type 1 Diabetes. There are eight podcasts covering themes ranging from how to cope with diabetes and playing sport, introduction to diabetes, going abroad on holiday, diabetes and drinking, diabetes and sex and some of the myths about diabetes.

The Jenny Lind Diabetes team's podcasts were funded through an £8,000 educational grant from Takeda and the podcasts were produced by TWG.

In May 2003 the Jenny Lind Children's Department at NNUH was also the first in the country to use text messaging to remind parents and carers of appointment dates. The SMS system was developed by the hospital’s Information Technology team and the Government’s Office of the e-Envoy.

Around 20 per cent of people with diabetes have the Type 1 condition and the number of children in Norfolk being diagnosed with this type of diabetes has increased by a third in recent years. Levels of Type 1 Diabetes in children are higher in the UK than elsewhere in Europe and researchers predict the number of under-fives in Europe with Type 1 diabetes is set to double by 2020.

Type 1 diabetes means that someone's pancreas stops producing insulin and makes blood sugar levels difficult to control. As a result people with Type 1 diabetes need daily injections of insulin to manage their condition.

The Jenny Lind Diabetes team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital currently look after more than 345 children from Norfolk and Suffolk with Type 1 diabetes.

Monday 15th of March 2010 04:00:02 PM