• diabetes;
  • education;
  • information;
  • internet


Access to reliable information is an essential component of effective self-care in diabetes. We sought to explore sources of information used by people with diabetes, and their views on the adequacy of this information.

We developed an investigator-administered questionnaire. Seventy patients (of 75 approached) attending two diabetes centres in Glasgow, UK, participated in the study.

The results showed that verbal information from specialist nursing staff in the diabetes centre was most used and preferred as a source of information. Twenty-one percent (n=15) of participants said they had never received information on complications. Patients with higher levels of educational attainment were less likely to report being given this type of information (χ2=6.98, p<0.05). A higher proportion of those who reported receiving no information had type 1 diabetes (χ2=5.79, p<0.05). Few patients reported using the internet (n=13); those who did were younger (χ2=7.62, p<0.01) with a higher level of educational attainment (χ2=6.61, p<0.05).

Current approaches to providing information to people with diabetes leave a perceived ‘information gap’. Our data strengthen the case for a systematic, validated and documented approach to the provision of information which is sensitive to local users' needs. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.