WP 11

Dissemination of information, training and technology exchange and informing public health policy. 

WP leader: INSTRUCT - Martin Adler

The following objectives have been developed to disseminate the information and results of the GIFTS project:

1. Condensation of the knowledge into a format to communicate the essence of the GIFTS project.

2. Dissemination of the gained knowledge of the project in the professional community by using professional networks.

3. Implementation of the knowledge gained in the project into the training of healthcare professionals.

To achieve these objectives the SME INSTRUCT, in collaboration with Prof Peter Schwarz and Jaakko Tuomilehto, have produced standard communication material for the European Commission, developed the project website, disseminated newsletters and provided guideline development and an e-learning training portal for prevention managers.

Methods and Results

To identify obstacles and challenges regarding the information and communication technology (ICT) framework of the target countries, a review about the digital infrastructure of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan including expert interviews was conducted. The main focus was to clarify which dissemination and e-learning activities would be feasible in the partner countries. Furthermore, a survey among all participants about the need and use of new media in the project was conducted.

The website provides information about the project aims and details on each work packages. The website also has an events calendar showing the most important events in diabetes prevention and offers an overview to other projects in the field of diabetes prevention. A search engine optimization (SEO) to improve the website’s visibility on search engines was conducted and was updated on a regular basis. The website includes social media to increase the dissemination range.

The standard communication material (leaflet) was provided to the European Commission.  Four annual newsletters were also distributed featuring the latest results of the project and made accessible through GIFTS network partners, the “Who is active in diabetes prevention“ network and the GIFTS project website.

To communicate as well as implement the results of the GIFTS project an e-learning training platform was developed, as an addition to existing training curricula to prevention managers. The GIFTS e-learning portal can be found at: http://eportal.gifts-project.eu and is detailed below. At its heart is 24 state of the art lectures given by international leaders in the field including Professors Jaakko Tuomilehto and Ranjan Yajnik.

E-learning portal contents

Structure all web-linked

1.     Written material

2.     Webcasts with power point (see list of names below)

3.     Case Histories

4.     Interviews

5.     Q&A

Portal introduced by Prof Graham A Hitman

Module 1: Basics of Diabetes (with an emphasis on South Asians)

a)    Aetiology and Complications: Dr Tahseen Chowdhury (Diabetologist, Barts and The London)

b)    Diabetes in the South Asian population living in the UK: Anne Claydon (Nurse consultant, Barts and The London)

c)     Gestational diabetes: Dr Philippa Hanson (Consultant Diabetes and Endocrinology, Barts and The London)


Module 2. Diabetes Prevention

a)    Landmark studies: Prof Jaakko Tuomilehto (GIFTS WP11)

b)    Organisation, delivery of diabetes prevention education: Prof Peter Schwarz (GIFTS WP11)     

c)     Models of care in Bangladesh: Prof Azad Khan(President of DAB)

Module 3. Pregnancy and foetal programming

a)    Basics of pregnancy physiology and normal model of care: Angeliki Bolou, Research Midwife QMUL

b)    Predictors of GDM and risk of T2D in mothers : Dr Girish Rayanagoudar (Registrar Endocrinology and Diabetes (Barts and The London; GIFTS WP2)

c)      Prevention of GDM and excess weight gain in pregnancy: Prof Shakila Thangaratinam (Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health, Barts and the London))

d)    Models of antenatal care in South Asians: Fareeha Shaikh and Prof Abdul Basit (GIFTS  Pakistan)

e)    Foetal outcome (programming and metabolic diseases): Prof Chittaranjan Yajnik (GIFTS Deputy Director)

Module 4. GIFTS baseline results (WP2) and attitudes to prevention (WP9) and antenatal care (WP10)

a)    Maternal status in SAs plus 1C cycle: Dr Sarah Finer (Barts and The London)

b)    Social attitudes to diabetes in SAs: Megan Clinch (Barts and The London)

c)     Equity of access/barriers: Prof Angela Harden (Professor of Community and Family Health UEL)/Bethan Hatherall (University of East London, UK))

Module 5. Interventions to improve the health of mother and baby

a)    Interventions in pregnancy in SAs (overview of non-GIFTS cohorts including Mumbai, Mysore, PUNE): Prof Caroline Fall (WP4)

b)    PCP maternal empowerment model and results on antenatal mortality: Prof Kishwar Azad (PCP director, DAB, Bangladesh)  WP4

c)     PCP results of effect on 2-4 yr old children (GIFTS): Prof Kishwar Azad/ Naveed Ahmed/Ed Fottrell GIFTS WP4 (Bangladesh/UCL London) WP4

d)    GIFTS pilot study in Bangladesh on improving maternal nutrition (MCH): Prof Akhtar Hussain /Dr Bishwajit Bhowmik WP3

e)    Health economics around maternal deficiencies (GIFTS WP8) (Prof Anita Patel, Barts and The London)

Module 6. Genomics and cost effective nutritional and DNA assays

a)    Development of more cost effective nutritional and DNA assays Sanjay Kinra (LSHTM London and Delhi, India) (WP5)

b)    Genetics of diabetes relevant to foetal programming: Prof Tim Frayling  (address of Exeter MOOCH)

c)     Genetics of diabetes in SAs and preliminary results : Dr Giriraj Ratan Chandak (Hyderabad, India) GIFTS WP6

d)    Epigenetics relevant to foetal programing and preliminary results WP7: Dr Sarah Finer (Barts and The London)

Module 7. Tools associated with GIFTS

a)    SOPs

b)    PCP materials

c)     Anthropometry measurements for adults – web-link to original

d)    Maternity flip chart used in Intervention study in Bangladesh (original and English)

e)    Miniaturization of DNA extraction and nutritional assays

Summary and synopsis of results Prof Graham A Hitman

The e-learning portal will be free of charge and open to anyone. The main target groups are health educators working in the field of diabetes prevention and care (working with people from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), the scientific community and physicians. There are seven modules (Basics in diabetes, Basics in diabetes prevention, Pregnancy and foetal programming, Interventions to improve the health of mother and baby, Genetics, Epigenetics and Tools associated with GIFTS), which cover all aspects of the GIFTS project. The e-learning portal is structured in a didactical way to improve the learning outcome using the most efficient evidence based learning strategies including learning goals, assessment, video learning. The e-learning portal includes videos, screencasts, interactive graphics, texts, images, a self-assessment quiz and a final test. 24 state of the art online lectures starring international diabetes prevention experts from London, Germany, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been developed and implemented. A structured evaluation template is implemented into the e-learning portal.

To disseminate the e-learning portal, several social media channels have been used (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, ResearchGate). Furthermore a GIFTS movie was made to foster the dissemination of the project and the e-learning portal. The information drawn from the GIFTS project is relevant for the guideline for prevention of diabetes. This mainly includes the practice guideline (toolkit), which was initially developed throughout the EU funded IMAGE project. The normal procedure is to analyze the results from your projects, to condense them into a chapter for the guidelines and then to discuss this with the authors of the guideline for inclusion. As the results of the GIFTS project are currently preliminary, this project will take place after the GIFTS project has finished. The results coming from the studies within the GIFTS project will be condensed after they are published and then included into the prevention toolkit after agreement of the authors. This will take place in the second half of 2016.

Results from GIFTS will also contribute to other maternal child health EU projects developing guidelines by exchanging views in key opinion leader discussions and data as relevant. Examples include in 2015 attendance at the DALI (http://www.dali-project.eu/) meeting in Brussels and for 2016 will include 2 planned meetings with Early Nutrition Academy  (http://www.early-nutrition.org/en/) that will include a presentation on the GIFTS project.

The Virtual Prevention Centre has been established to communicate and disseminate practical tools for the prevention of diabetes. Within the projects in GIFTS, a number of additional tools were used. All partners in GIFTS are encouraged to submit these tools to the coordinator of the Virtual Prevention Centre (Prof. Peter Schwarz) or to upload them directly in the VPC. This dissemination activity is sustainably open to all GIFTS partners.

Discussion: The e-learning training portal offers an excellent opportunity to implement the results of the GIFTS project into the training of health prevention experts and should be used in the future as a integral part of the training of prevention managers. Using the latest evidence of didactics and technology the portal is also ready for future use, as long as the content is revised and updated in a structured way to ensure updated information about diabetes prevention.

E-learning training portals can be used as a dissemination activity to spread the results, and provides sustainability for the results of the project as well as offering benefits for the community. The development of an e-learning training portal should thus be an integral part of the all projects done in the field of health science education. The guidelines will be implemented into the curriculum of the e-learning portal and offer a state-of-the-art curriculum for health educators. Cooperation with IDF to implement the e-learning portal into the training curricula of the IDF is in discussion.

Conclusions: Due to the activities of the WP11 team most of the objectives have been achieved and some have been exceeded. The leaflet, the newsletters and the project website have been used to condense the information of the project and disseminate the gained knowledge of the project into the professional community. The e-learning training portal will be used to implement the knowledge gained from the project into the training of health care professionals.

Planned publications and presentations

Presentation: Results of the e-learning portal. Annual meeting of the Association of Medical Education (AMEE), Barcelona, August 2016.

Presentation: The GIFTS e-learning portal. Annual meeting of the German Association of Medical Education (GMA), Bern, 2016.

Paper: The GIFTS e-learning portal. eLearning Papers. OpenEducation Europa