DAFNEplus research study

Developing and trialling the DAFNEplus (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) intervention. A lifelong approach to promote effective self-management in adults with type 1 diabetes.


About the study

The Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR and the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering staff have been awarded a £3.4 million programme grant from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Programme Grants for Applied Research.

The DAFNEplus research programme involves research groups from across the UK, and is led by Professor Simon Heller, Professor of Clinical Diabetes at the University of Sheffield and Research and Development Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


The aim is to re-develop and evaluate the DAFNE programme to help people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to be supported and motivated to manage their condition as part of their everyday lives, in the longer term.

The DAFNEplus programme will see the introduction of several programmes, models and changes to the existing DAFNE programme.

This will include behaviour change techniques and a structured model of support with new technology. 

Once the research has completed, the aim is to provide the full programme as a sustained model of support rather than an initial standalone course.


Following a successful pilot study, a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) opened to recruitment in September 2018. Our initial timescales have been extended due to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The large-scale Randomised Control Trial (RCT) plans to recruit 660 patients to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of DAFNEplus. The primary outcome is blood glucose control, as well as quality of life and relevant psychological outcomes. The RCT also includes a qualitative sub-study and assessment of intervention fidelity.

A number of multi-disciplinary workstreams, outlined below, developed the intervention before the pilot study started in March 2017.

  • Workstream 1: Revising the DAFNE Curriculum (Lead: Professor Simon Heller)
  • Workstream 2: Developing structured support (Leads: Dr David Hopkins; Professor Simon Heller)
  • Workstream 3: Technology (Lead: Dr Jackie Elliott)

For further information regarding the programme please contact the study team: dafneplus@sheffield.ac.uk

Follow the progress of the DAFNEplus programme grant on Twitter: @dafneplus

Central study staff





Professor Simon Heller

Chief Investigator

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust / University of Sheffield


Elaine Scott

Study Manager

University of Sheffield


Prof Cindy Cooper

CTRU Oversight

University of Sheffield



Jack Rose

Trials Support Officer

University of Sheffield


Jonathan Woodward

Research Assistant

University of Sheffield


Recruiting sites and principal investigators 

Name and job title


Dr Peter Hammond, Consultant Physician

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Mark Evans, Honorary Consultant Physician and Lecturer

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sarah Long, Senior Diabetes Dietitian

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Rosanne Dunkley, Specialist Community Diabetes Dietitian

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Fiona Green, Consultant Physician

NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dr Emma Wilmot, Consultant Diabetologist

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Helen Hopkinson, Consultant Physician

Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board

Nardos Yemane, Senior Diabetes Specialist Dietitian

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Tina Spence, Diabetes Specialist Nurse

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Tasso Gazis, Consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes and General Medicine

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Professor Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist

Hull University teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Angela Thomas, Advanced Diabetes Specialist Nurse

Birmingham Community NHS Foundation Trust





Dr Jackie Elliott

Senior Clinical Lecturer / Consultant Diabetologist

University of Sheffield

Professor Alan Brennan

Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling

University of Sheffield

Dr Mohammed Benaissa

Senior Lecturer (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 

University of Sheffield

Professor Julia Lawton

Professor of Health and Social Science

University of Edinburgh

Dr Debbie Cooke

Senior Lecturer (Health Psychology)

University of Surrey

Dr David Hopkins

Senior Consultant Physician, Diabetologist

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Simon Fisher

Patient Representative

DAFNE Online

Professor Susan Michie

Professor of Health Psychology

University College London

Professor Jane Speight

Professor of Behavioural and Social Research in Diabetes

Deakin University, Australia

Caroline Ferguson

DAFNE Educator and Diabetes Specialist Nurse

Chesterfield Royal Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Gill Thompson

National DAFNE Collaborative Manager

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Stephanie Amiel

Professor of Diabetic Medicine

King’s College London

Professor Wendy Baird

Professor of Health Services Research

University of Sheffield

Professor Lucy Yardley

Professor of Health Psychology

University of Southampton

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