Apr 19 2016 Posted: 09:14 IST

‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adults with type 1 diabetes’

NUI Galway will play host to a major three-day international symposium focusing on improving health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes from 22-24 June.

Type 1 diabetes requires intensive self-management, including monitoring blood glucose, administering insulin, carbohydrate counting, and regulating exercise, to maintain good diabetes control. This daily self-management routine is challenging for most, but is especially difficult for young adults whose lives are often characterised by transition, independence and unpredictability. The Irish Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Study team, based in NUI Galway, have been working since 2011 to better understand the needs and perspectives of young adults with type 1 diabetes and this three-day event is the culmination of that work.

On the first day, Dr Molly Byrne, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, NUI Galway, will bring together expert researchers and clinicians to agree a standardised set of outcomes for use in future research with young adults with type 1 diabetes.

The highpoint of this three-day event will be the a major international expert conference ‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adult with type 1 diabetes’ on Thursday, 23 June. Healthcare professionals, young adults with type 1 diabetes, researchers and policy makers are invited and encouraged to attend this free conference, which is funded by the Health Research Board through a Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme.

Headed by Professor Seán Dinneen, Consultant Physician at Galway University Hospitals and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, the conference will see national and international experts presenting to a multi-disciplinary audience on service provision and technology for supporting self-management in young adults with type 1 diabetes. The conference will host an array of international speakers from the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, the University of Sheffield, Kings College London, Cardiff University, the University of Aberdeen and Diabetes UK, as well as a host of national healthcare providers and experts from the HSE and Irish universities.

The final day will involve two parallel sessions: an ‘Expert Panel’ and a ‘Hackathon’. The Expert Panel will be focused, and people will be specifically chosen to attend based on their skills and experience. This panel meeting will involve feedback sessions and workshops to reach a consensus on the final protocol for an intervention to improve health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The Hackathon will bring together software developers, health-focused start-up businesses, people with type 1 diabetes and healthcare professionals to focus on possible technology solutions which could be applied in a future young adult intervention.

Professor Seán Dinneen who is leading the study, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming a diverse range of experts, including expert patients, to the NUI Galway campus in June to help us think through how we might improve the delivery of care to young adults living with type 1 diabetes.”

The ‘Strength In Numbers’ conference on Thursday, 23 June, is open to anyone with an interest in young adult type 1 diabetes management. This innovative, multi-disciplinary conference is not an information event for people with diabetes but will be of interest to health services providers, researchers, young adults with type 1 diabetes and policy-makers. Join the Strength In Numbers conversation using the #TIDSINs2016.

For full programme details or to register for free visit http://goo.gl/3I1zMG. For further information contact Dr Lisa Hynes in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology on 091 494458.

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