Research project

DIAMONDS programme

Developing and evaluating a diabetes self-management intervention for people with severe mental illness

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Start date

January 2018

Completion date

January 2024



National Institute for Health Research

This project aims to develop and test a self-management programme for people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) and type-2 diabetes; and to explore its relevance to people with SMI and other chronic physical health conditions.

SMI refers to conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which cause considerable disability over a lifetime, and affect 1% of the population. People with SMI are at high risk of developing long-term physical health problems such as chronic lung disease.

The impact of diabetes is influenced by how well it is managed. Self-management (activities which people do to manage their illness) is at the heart of good diabetes care, it can improve physical and mental health, and reduce healthcare costs.

However, people with SMI are unlikely to benefit from existing self-management programmes because they face additional challenges to managing their health that currently available programmes do not tackle.

Research plan

We will design and test a self-management programme for people with SMI and type-2 diabetes (DIAMONDS). We will also explore how relevant this approach might be to other long-term conditions, by also designing a programme for people with chronic lung disease, which has many aspects of self-management in common with diabetes, but also elements that are very different.

We will develop plans for future roll-out of DIAMONDS to NHS patients. Service users and carers will be involved in all stages, including communication of results to public, patient, healthcare and research audiences.


Project lead(s)

Dr Jan Boehnke

External team members

University of York