PLATINUM - Study Design

Peer leaders are people with diabetes who volunteer to undertake an extensive program of training on diabetes management. The overarching goal of the training is to foster effective peer leaders who are able to deliver support and advice to their peers on a one-to-one basis, in person and via telecommunication, as well as facilitating group meetings and activities.

Since the peer leaders will help patients develop strategies to incorporate complex treatment regimens into their everyday routines, the curriculum and format of sessions will be based on behavioral approaches and will take the form of lectures, tutorials, role plays and group sharing. To become a ‘peer leader’ the volunteer diabetes patients will undergo a 32-hour 'train the trainer' interactive program, held over 6 weeks (4 workshops, 8-hours each), and led by health care experts in nutrition, physical activity, psychology and neuro-linguistics. The employment of a multi-disciplinary team to deliver the required training ensures the peer leaders receive adequate knowledge and skills from healthcare specialists. In addition to factual knowledge on diabetes as a disease, the program content also includes information on communication and empowerment skills, as well as basic knowledge on psychology, stress management, social support, empowerment, and healthy lifestyle, including diet and physical activity.

Workshop 1: Effective Communication (Run by NLP Trainer)

Peer leaders need to understand the essence of having non-judgemental, empathetic and encouraging interaction, generally no attempt to convince or persuade the patient, or to provide advice. Instead, reflective listening and positive affirmations are used to help patients to identify their own health goals and the discrepancies in their behaviour that influence achieving these goals.

The framework of this workshop covers the following:

The Power of Positive Mindset
Understand Communication Essentials
Empathetic Listening Skills
Questioning Skills

Workshop 2 : Food & Nutrition (Run by nutritionist)

  body weight, energy balance, nutrition and physical activity
  caloric content of common food items, foods to be avoided or encouraged
  practical tips in insulin usage and self titration of dosage
  how to read food labels for frozen and processed foods; how to estimate percentages of protein, carbohydrates and fats in daily diet
  principle of diabetes diet
  eating out tips
  low calorie products
  State Codex definition of low energy / energy free / low fat / fat free / low cholesterol / cholesterol free / low sodium / sodium free / sugar free
  healthy eating tips for special occasions

Workshop 3 : Physical Activity (Run by physical trainer)

  regulation of blood glucose and relationships between insulin and stress hormones
  common pitfalls in blood glucose interpretation (e.g. stress-induced hyperglycemia, prolonged hypoglycemia following exercise)
  precautions during exercise
  warm-up / cool down stretching exercise
  different ways to motivate / absorb exercise in daily live

Workshop 4: Psychology (Run by psychologist)

  motivational interview
  effects of cognition and psychology on behavior
  positive thinking and self efficacy
  problem solving skills
  decision-making skills
  behaviour goal-setting
  exploring emotions
  coping with negative feelings
  social support
  Nondirective Support - cooperating without taking over, accepting recipient's feelings & choices
  when to refer and ask for help & setting boundaries
  stress management