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The Copenhagen Diabetes Consensus (CODIAC) 2021 conference aimed to enhance knowledge about approaches to user involvement internationally and establish collaborative environments for knowledge sharing and the development of best practices.

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    Aim and background

    The idea of user involvement is current fashion and a buzzword in the fields of health promotion, prevention, research and care – also in the field of diabetes.

    Although many different concepts and names exist (co-determination, shared decision-making, patient and public involvement, co-design, participatory research etc.), they are all concerned with giving users a say in processes that are important to their own lives. But what do we know about user involvement - do these approaches make the processes and products more effective and more cultural embedded, and how strong is the evidence?

    The overall aim of Copenhagen Diabetes Consensus (CODIAC) – User Involvement in Diabetes Care, Prevention, and Research was to summarize, communicate, and further develop the existing international, research-based knowledge about the value and impact of a user-involving approach in three different fields:

    • Diabetes care (including emotional and behavioral aspects)
    • Diabetes prevention
    • Diabetes research

    Read more about the conference groups

    The conference

    The conference was a hybrid event, where a number of attendees met in person at a venue in Copenhagen, while another group of attendees participated in the event via an online connnection. A total number of 110 participants were part of the conference.

    The available international knowledge was summarized by three researcher groups representing the three different fields listed above. Each group presented their finding which were discussed at the conference in Copenhagen.

    A fourth group – the users – gave various inputs for the discussions and engaged with researchers and health care professionals during the conference. In this way, the conference topic – user involvement – was an important and integrated component of the processes taking place at the conference.

    Read more about the conference programme


    Prior to the consensus conference, four groups summarized the value and impact of user involvement through a systematic mapping of relevant scientific literature. The Danish Diabetes Knowledge Center was responsible for the methodological design of the systematic mapping in accordance with international standards.

    Systematic analyses of the scientific literature occurred in three groups of researchers (diabetes care, prevention and research) addressing the following questions among others:

    1. What is the international research-based evidence for the value and impact of user involvement, in terms of metabolic, quality of life, satisfaction and social measures and other relevant parameters?

    2. Which methods and concepts have demonstrated potential for future work and development?

    3. What are significant gaps in current knowledge, and how can they be addressed in future research projects?

    4. What recommendations and suggestions should be made for future professional work and areas for development?

    The user group prepared various inputs for the discussion during the conference, involving users’ views of the fundamental conditions, potential, and pitfalls of user involvement. This included professional skills needed to support individuals with diabetes, roles and attitudes of researchers in user involvement projects etc.

    A Group Concept Mapping (GCM) process, which was facilitated by the Danish Diabetes Knowledge Center, involved researchers, user and health professionals in defining the most important elements of user involvement as well as the main barriers for the implementation. This product was an important input to the discussions during the conference.

    Read more about the Group Concept Mapping process


    Based on the presentations and discussions, the following output is available at this site: