DAFNE (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating)

What is DAFNE?

DAFNE is a group self management program designed for adults with type 1 diabetes. It is a way of managing type 1 diabetes by working out how much insulin you need for the amount of carbohydrate that you eat.
It provides you with the skills to:
  •  Estimate the amount of carbohydrate in each meal and inject the right dose of insulin
  •  Manage exercise, illness and alcohol more safely


Don’t I already do this?

Many people already have multiple injections a day, but they match their food to their insulin. The difference with DAFNE is that you choose how much insulin to take on a day-to-day and mealtime-to-mealtime basis, based on the amount of carbohydrate that you eat.  

This means you can eat what you like and, more importantly when you like. You can even skip or delay a meal if you choose. 

Where does DAFNE come from?

DAFNE originated in the UK and is based on a course run in Germany since the 1980s. Results from the thousands of people with type 1 diabetes who completed DAFNE in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Australia show they have better blood glucose control, fewer severe hypos and improved quality of life after attending DAFNE.  They also have fewer days off work and less chance of diabetes complications.  

Since courses commenced in Australia in 2005, over 2000 people have been trained in DAFNE principles. In Australia we call it OzDAFNE. 

What does DAFNE involve? 

DAFNE involves attending a five day training course.  There are two course formats available.  In the first format, you attend for five days in a row from Monday to Friday for one full week.  In the second format, you attend one day per week for five weeks in a row (e.g. five Fridays in a row). Both formats contain all the same information and activities.

  • The structured teaching programme covers topics including carbohydrate estimation, blood glucose monitoring, insulin regimens, hypos, illness and exercise.
  • The DAFNE course is about learning from experience. During the course you practice the skills of carbohydrate estimation and insulin adjustment under the supervision of DAFNE trained nurses and dietitians. The aim is to help you self manage your diabetes. 
  • Each DAFNE group has eight participants and involves group work, sharing and comparing experiences with other people with type 1 diabetes. 

 Is DAFNE for me? 

To participate in DAFNE you need to: 
  • Have had type 1 diabetes for at least six months (and/or post your ‘honeymoon’ period)
  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Not on a pump
  • Motivated to improve your diabetes control
  • Willing to inject and record blood glucose levels at least four to five times a day
  • Able to attend all five days of the program from 9am to 5pm
  • Take one or two injections of long acting insulin each day and quick acting insulin each time you eat
  • Able to speak/understand/read English

What are the costs? 

Cost will vary depending on your centre. You may need time off work to do the course. We can provide a letter of explanation for your employer. 

What else is involved? 

We need to have agreement from your endocrinologist for you to attend DAFNE. Results of your recent blood tests are also needed when you attend a pre-assessment appointment with the DAFNE educator.

You will be asked to complete some questionnaires before and one year after your course so that we can monitor the effects of DAFNE on your quality of life and overall diabetes control.

There may also be doctors, nurses or dietitians observing courses to learn how to teach DAFNE themselves. 

What do past participants of DAFNE say?

  • “I now understand what I am controlling”
  • “I’ve learned such a lot in a short space of time – and I’ve had a laugh as well!”
  • "It’s given me the real reason for doing blood tests!”
  • “At last, I now have the freedom to choose"

Upcoming course dates

The DAFNE program runs at various locations across Melbourne and regional Victoria and in most other states in Australia. To find out more about DAFNE or a program near you, phone (03) 9667 1719 or email or visit the OzDAFNE website to see the full list of DAFNE centre locations.

Diabetes Australia – Vic runs DAFNE programs in Melbourne city and in Geelong.  Please call (03) 9667 1719 for availability of places and bookings.  Bookings are now open for the courses listed below:


  • 23 – 27 March 2015 (one full week)
  • 20, 27 July, 3, 10, 17 August 2015 (five Mondays in a row)

Melbourne City

  • 13, 20, 27 February, 6, 13 March 2015 (five Fridays in a row)
  • 13 – 17 April 2015 (one full week)
  • 21, 28 May, 4, 11, 18 June 2015 (five Thursdays in a row)
  • 27 – 31 July 2015 (one full week)
  • 28 September, 5, 12, 19, 26 October 2015 (five Mondays in a row)

Download the OzDAFNE brochure here

Funding to support this program is provided by the National Diabetes Services Scheme. The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government and administered by Diabetes Australia. The NDSS Agent in Victoria is Diabetes Australia – Vic. 

TEAM T1 - Teens Empowered to Actively Manage Type 1 Diabetes

Team T1 is a 5-day group education program designed for teenagers aged 14 – 18 years with type 1 diabetes and their parents. It has been adapted for adolescents from the Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating program (DAFNE), a program for adults with type 1 diabetes, which teaches people the skills needed to achieve intensive insulin therapy with multiple daily injections (MDI).  More information and program dates