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Rural Remote Health. 2013 Jan-Mar;13(1):2053. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Pilot project and evaluation of delivering diabetes work-based education using video conferencing.

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  • 1University of the Highlands & Islands, Inverness, Scotland, UK.



Diabetes is a chronic long-term disease with an increasing incidence. There is a need to increase access to effective care and to ensure such care is delivered as locally as possible. The geographical spread of NHS Highland Scotland presents additional challenges to ensuring a skilled workforce given education is normally work-based tuition and assessment. The aim of this pilot project was to deliver teleconferenced diabetes training to healthcare and allied healthcare professionals who provide basic level care for, and management of, people with diabetes and to evaluate this training.


Work-based diabetes education was designed to be delivered by a diabetes educator through videoconferencing or face to face (F2F) for healthcare professionals in peripheral settings in the Scottish Highlands region over two half-days. The education covered theoretical and practical training in diabetes. The evaluation of the project was through post-course questionnaires and assessment instruments to capture views of the content and delivery mode, as well as student performance.


Feedback from participants indicated that the educational content was relevant and that the use of videoconferencing (VC) could provide accessibility to training where distance, cost and other issues may make access difficult. Student performance on the assessment instruments did not differ between those who received the training through video conferencing and those who received the training through F2F delivery. Video conferencing can counteract the difficulties of accessing training for clinical peripherally based professionals. Training through VC did not compromise student acquisition of learning outcomes. Feedback indicates that VC can reduce the interactive nature of the learning and teaching experience.

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