Diabetes Counselling on Wheels: Early Detection and Counselling on Diabetes for Citizens of Turkish Origin and the Rural Population – Germany


The majority of migrants living in Germany have a Turkish immigrant origin. Investigations have shown an increased prevalence of diabetes among people with a Turkish migration background. The goal of the Diabetes Counselling on Wheels project is to instruct people with a Turkish migration background and people in structurally weak, rural regions (two target groups) about diabetes mellitus and to inform them locally, to diagnose as yet undetected diabetes cases at an early stage and to refer newly diagnosed cases to suitable specialist contact persons locally. Already affected or at- risk persons who have not taken up the standard prevention services on offer are to be reached through a low-threshold approach.

The Diabetes-Info-Mobile has already been in operation in North Rhine Westphalia since 2003. The pilot project “Diabetes Counselling on Wheels – early detection and counselling on the subject of diabetes for citizens of Turkish origin and the rural population” and thus counselling throughout Germany started in August 2014. The selected towns and regions have a high proportion of migrants, and the rural regions are characterised by poor provision of healthcare services. The intervention is not directed towards a specific age group. However, it is focussed on older people, as many relatives of the first generation of immigrants, for example, are less well provided for in terms of healthcare than the rest of the population, due to language and cultural barriers. In addition, it is often difficult for the older rural population to obtain easy access to specialist medical care, as a result of the shortage of (specialist) doctors. The counselling will be provided by Turkish-speaking culture-sensitive diabetes counsellors. The information material used will also be orientated towards the target group in question. Regional representatives of the migrants of Turkish origin will provide support in the planning and preparation of the individual assignments and in part will take on the role of a multiplier. The co-operation of the various different organisations enables a coordinated viewpoint from the perspective of doctors, counsellors and patients.

The project is directed towards an increased participation of the target group, which otherwise is not reached by preventive measures. The evaluation – in progress (2014 to 2018) – will determine the degree to which the target group is reached and the extent to which (specialist) medical care is taken up and any change in behaviour following the counselling. The extent to which the approach is appropriate to the target groups and the project can be extended will be investigated as part of the evaluation. With the aid of the results obtained from the pilot project, the aim is to sustain the project on a regular basis.


Additional information:

(last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: Older People (>65 yrs) | The Young Old (50-65 yrs) | 
Main Settings: healthcare services | 
Specific Topics: diabetes prevention | 

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