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Interview with Unn-Britt Johansson, Stream Lead of the Education and Integrated Care Stream at WDC 2015

In 2015 the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), is bringing the World Diabetes Congress to Vancouver, Canada. The global diabetes community will convene to experience a cutting-edge scientific programme from November 30 to December 4 2015. The programme, chaired by Professor Bernard Zinman, is made up of six streams.

Unn-Britt Johansson leads the Education and Integrated Care stream.This stream will demonstrate up-to-date education tools for healthcare practitioners and people with diabetes. It will also introduce innovations in patient care and management. To find out more about the Education and Integrated Care stream, we asked Unn-Brit what the audience can expect.

What are going to be the highlights of your stream?

The Education and Integrated Care Stream will answer the question "How can people with diabetes effectively manage their own care and what is the role of healthcare professionals?"

In response to this question, we will be looking at a variety of education best practice, including the promotion of personcentred care, the management of hypoglycaemia, eHealth and online learning as well as the challenges of education in

vulnerable populations including children and older people. The Stream will also underline the importance of nutrition in diabetes management and prevention and the role played by epigenetics in the development of obesity. Experts in these areas will present their cutting edge research gained through valuable experience in the field during interactive sessions and workshops. People with diabetes will present their perspectives and personal challenges they face in the day-to-day management of the disease.

How can people with diabetes effectively manage their own care? What is the role of healthcare professionals?

Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSE) is a critical part of care for all people with diabetes and those at risk of developing the disease. At present, the majority of people with diabetes and pre-diabetes have no access to structured diabetes self-management education (DSME). DSME is vital since it allows the person with diabetes to take an active and empowered role in their disease management and the formulation of personalised care goals alongside a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary healthcare team. Care for patients with diabetes requires a coordinated and collaborative team working in partnership with the patient. A multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary team is necessary to provide the long-term support needed by individuals with diabetes and their families.

Who should attend the congress and what can delegates expect from the experience?

Since diabetes is such a cross-cutting issue, healthcare professionals, professional societies, politicians and policy makers should attend the congress. Experts from the seven IDF regions will highlight examples of innovative strategies from all over the world, showcasing the latest research and current trends in education.

What was your motivation for becoming involved in diabetes education?

I find it so stimulating to interact with people with diabetes and to learn from their shared experiences. I feel that, together with the patient, I can make a difference in their lives. Furthermore, as a researcher I find it important to do research about diabetes education to expand my knowledge and increase my efficacy.


For more information about the World Diabetes Congress please visit and follow #WDC2015 on Twitter



By Victoria
May 07, 2015
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