, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 18–27 | Cite as

The role of patient education in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: an overview

  • Adriana Coppola
  • Loredana Sasso
  • Annamaria Bagnasco
  • Andrea Giustina
  • Carmine Gazzaruso


The management of type 2 diabetes mellitus includes ability and empowerment of the patient to change lifestyle, maintain an adequate diet and physical activity, manage the disease, and follow a specific program of periodic medical checks and education sessions. In addition, the patient should be able to correctly identify and adequately solve problems related to the disease and actively collaborate with the healthcare system. To obtain these goals, therapeutic patient education (TPE) is now considered a crucial element not only in the treatment but also in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Several trials showed that TPE is able to improve clinical, lifestyle, and psycho-social outcomes. Nevertheless, studies have not clarified the ideal characteristics of a comprehensive patient education program in clinical practice. Other work is needed to answer open questions regarding the type of PTE (individual or group education), themes, frequency and number of education sessions, contact time between educator and patient, background of educators, use of new technologies, and barriers to self-management. The present review discusses these points on the basis of the most recent data of the literature.


Patient education Self-management Lifestyle Diabetes 


Compliance with ethical standards

The present review complies with ethical requirements. No informed consent was necessary, since no patient was recruited.

Conflict of interest

Adriana Coppola, Loredana Sasso, Annamaria Bagnasco, Andrea Giustina, and Carmine Gazzaruso declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana Coppola
    • 1
    • 2
  • Loredana Sasso
    • 2
  • Annamaria Bagnasco
    • 2
  • Andrea Giustina
    • 3
  • Carmine Gazzaruso
    • 1
  1. 1.Diabetes and Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases Unit and the Centre for Applied Clinical Research (Ce.R.C.A.)Clinical Institute “Beato Matteo” VigevanoVigevanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Chair of Endocrinology, A.O. Spedali CiviliUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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