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.

DAFNEplus logo

About the study

CTRU and ScHARR staff have been awarded a five and half year programme grant from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Programme Grants for Applied Research.

The aim of this £2.7 million programme is to re-develop and evaluate the DAFNE programme to help people with type 1 diabetes to better manage their condition in line with their lifestyle.

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.

This project will see the introduction of a number of programmes, models and improvements to the existing DAFNE programme.

By combining behaviour change techniques and a structured model of support with new technology (such as smartphones and apps), the aim is that adult sufferers will be supported and motivated to manage their own conditions as part of their everyday lives in the longer term.

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.

A number of multi-disciplinary workstreams, outlined below, will develop the intervention before the pilot study with three centres, started in March 2017.

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

If the pilot is successful, this will be followed by a 14 centre cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) starting in September 2018.

The large scale trial 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.

Follow the progress of the DAFNEplus programme grant:

Central study staff

Name Role Organisation Contact
Professor Simon Heller Chief Investigator Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust / University of Sheffield s.heller@sheffield.ac.uk
Elaine Scott Study Manager University of Sheffield elaine.scott@sheffield.ac.uk
Becky Brown Trials Support Officer University of Sheffield becky.brown@sheffield.ac.uk
Prof Cindy Cooper CTRU Oversight University of Sheffield c.l.cooper@sheffield.ac.uk

Liz Cross

Senior Trial Manager University of Sheffield e.a.cross@sheffield.ac.uk

Recruiting sites and principal investigators 

Name and job title Site Contact details
Dr Peter Hammond, Consultant Physician Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust


01423 553 747

Dr Mark Evans, Honorary Consultant Physician and Lecturer Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


01223 336 994

Sarah Long, Acting PI (Caroline Maine, Senior Diabetes Dietitian) University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


0203 447 9289

Rosanne Dunkley, Specialist Community Diabetes Dietitian Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


01527 488 679

Dr Fiona Green, Consultant Physician NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Dr Emma Wilmot, Consultant Diabetologist Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


07834 279 911

Dr Helen Hopkinson, Consultant Physician Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board


0141 347 8287

Nardos Yemane, Diabetes Dietitian Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust


0207 188 1967

Tina Spence, Diabetes Specialist Nurse South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


01642 854 235

Lindsay Ochiltree, Diabetes Specialist Nurse Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust


07919 303 443

Tasso Gazis, Consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes and General Medicine Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust


07985 443 785

Professor Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust


01482 675 312

Angela Thomas, Advanced Diabetes Specialist Nurse Birmingham Community NHS Foundation Trust


0121 245 5720


Name Role Institution
Professor Stephanie Amiel Professor of Diabetic Medicine King’s College London
Professor Wendy Baird Professor of Health Services Research University of Sheffield
Dr Mohammed Benaissa Senior Lecturer (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)  University of Sheffield
Professor Alan Brennan Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling University of Sheffield
Professor Michael Campbell Professor of Medical Statistics University of Sheffield
Dr Debbie Cooke Senior Lecturer (Health Psychology) University of Surrey
Dr Jackie Elliott Senior Clinical Lecturer / Consultant Diabetologist University of Sheffield
Simon Fisher Patient Representative DAFNE Online
Dr David Hopkins Senior Consultant Physician, Diabetologist King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Julia Lawton Professor of Health and Social Science University of Edinburgh
Dr Peter Mansell Consultant in General Medicine, Diabetes and Endocrinology Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor Susan Michie Professor of Health Psychology University College London
Professor Jane Speight Professor of Behavioural and Social Research in Diabetes Deakin University, Australia
Carolin Taylor DAFNE Educator and Diabetes Specialist Nurse Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Gill Thompson National DAFNE Collaborative Manager Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Lucy Yardley Professor of Health Psychology University of Southampton

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.