January 12, 2014

AADE Membership Numbers and Industry Sponsors

Apparently, I have ignored some of the activities of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) for too long. The membership has decreased from a reported 13,000 members per the AADE 2012 Fact Sheet to the latest number of 12,000, as shown in the AADE Career Opportunities. Why is this happening? There is no indication on the website and at least they are no longer claiming that their membership is growing as I questioned in my blog here.

I suspect that many have left the organization or discontinued their membership, but I have no proof, as they are very secretive about what compromises their membership. Because I have been critical of their organization, I cannot get anyone to answer an email for further information.

Further exploration of the AADE website confirms that they are continuing to ignore the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) and Diabetes Self-Management Support (DSMS) adopted by the ADA and written by members of the AADE and ADA. Another article calls these the Ten Gold Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education.

These ten National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education is designed to define the quality of education and support for diabetics and pre-diabetics. A diverse group of health care providers reviews and revises the standards every five years. There are ten standards that diabetes educators and programs should follow in order to provide optimal care. The fact that the AADE has not adopted them or shown them in their Position Statements for 2013 or their 2013 Practice Advisories says they are not adopting them. Fact is they show no Position Statements for 2013. The AADE is still adhering to their standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) and Training (DSMT).

In their Scope and Standards section they do have reference to the fact that the AADE collaborated with the American Diabetes Association to develop the 2012 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support. This is just the PDF file that is a copy of the ADA publication. There is no statement that they are adopted or if they are to be part of the AADE guidelines. I have blogged about the National Standards starting here.

The surprising find on the AADE website is their conflict of interest area in which they list the Industry Allies Council of the diabetes supplies manufacturers and pharmaceuticals manufacturers. The list is more inclusive that I had imagined and explains why certain medications are being heavily promoted by CDEs. This list can be read here.

In the past, I have wondered why the AADE would not establish a classification for lay people to help with diabetes education, especially for people with type 2 diabetes, but now, I will not encourage this with the conflict of interest being known. Instead, I will move my encouragement to organizations already making this happen and encourage medical schools to develop these activities and other higher educational institutions that have developed lay programs in the past.

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