Navigation Links
Approach to diabetes self-management too narrow, study suggests
Date:4/10/2012

A new study from researchers at Queen Mary, University of London reveals the many difficulties faced by people with diabetes in self-managing their disease.

People with diabetes have to invest a great deal of time and effort to manage their condition. This includes not only monitoring the level of sugar in their blood, organising their medication and following a restrictive diet but also social challenges such as negotiating relatives' input and gaining access to doctors when they need to.

In Britain the primary strategy for helping patients is a short educational course on how to self-manage the condition. The new research suggests that this approach is unlikely to succeed in isolation because it ignores the many factors that are outside the patients' control such as food labelling in restaurants, local availability of healthy foods and the expectations and behaviour of other people within family members, at school and at work.

Diabetes is an incurable disease which can have serious complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. It affects 2.6 million people in the UK and this figure is predicted to rise to four million by 2025.

Only around one per cent of a diabetic person's time is spent in the company of health professionals. The remaining 99 per cent of the time, the patient is managing their own diabetes.

The research was an 'ethnographic' study which looked in depth at a small group of 30 people with diabetes. Their ages ranged from 5 to 88 and they included different ethnic groups to reflect the fact that diabetes is particularly common in South Asians. Researchers shadowed the people for several periods of between two and five hours while they were going about their daily lives, noting how they managed their condition and the challenges they faced.

Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Health Care at Queen Mary, University of London, led the study. She said: "Until now there has been very little research on what people with diabetes do and how they cope when health professionals aren't around. We have shown that self-management of diabetes is hard work both practically and emotionally, and that many but not all people with diabetes are skilful at undertaking and co-ordinating all the different tasks involved."

The research showed that people with diabetes and their families devoted a lot of time and hard work to managing their disease. For those who were not managing well, the reasons tended to be that they were overstretched by family responsibilities, had other illnesses, were struggling financially or a combination of these. Many had other medical conditions, some very serious for example paralysis following a stroke, visual impairment or heart failure. These factors severely limited people's opportunities to manage their condition, meaning that those who would benefit most from self-management were also those least able to achieve it.

Lack of food labelling in cafes and restaurants also proved challenging because it made calculating the correct dose of insulin difficult.

Some but not all health professionals were enthusiastic about people acquiring advanced knowledge about their diabetes and learning how to self-manage.

Professor Greenhalgh added: "There is a trend towards encouraging individuals to look after their own health. This study highlights that whilst many people with diabetes are ready and able to do this, health professionals and wider society could be doing more to support them. Sadly there is still a great deal of ignorance, stigma and stereotyping.

"We need to know a lot more about how patients manage their disease outside of the clinic. In the meantime, doctors should be aware of the work their patients put in to self-management and understand that many factors will influence how successful they are at controlling their diabetes."

The research is published in BMC Health Services Research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kerry Noble
k.noble@qmul.ac.uk
44-207-882-7943
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UofL research holds promise of therapeutic approach for gum disease
2. A project to research biological and chemical aspects of microalgae to fuel approach
3. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
4. Wild west approach to claiming the oceans genetic resources must end: UBC media release
5. Using online patient communities and new trial approaches to optimize clinical research
6. Gut microbe networks differ from norm in obese people, systems biology approach reveals
7. A new way of approaching the early detection of Alzheimers disease
8. Industry, regulators should take system safety approach to offshore drilling in aftermath of Deepwater Horizon accident, says new report
9. Twisting molecules by brute force: A top-down approach
10. Researchers at GIS develop systematic approach for accurate DNA sequence reconstruction
11. Bioengineering yields new approaches for diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injury
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... Doctors in Italy, Japan, the UK and the US have reached ... gene and its link to malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the details ... now. , The studies analyzed for the new report included more than 3,447 ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... At present, the Biotech sphere is in a ... volatility is what makes this industry interesting to consider. Here ... (NASDAQ: SNTA ), CTI BioPharma Corp. (NASDAQ: ... and Heat Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX ). Sign ... these stocks at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... and READING, England , May ... http://www.indegene.com ), a leading global provider of clinical, ... and healthcare organisations and TranScrip ( http://www.transcrip-partners.com ), ... throughout the product lifecycle, today announced the extension ... IntraScience.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141208/720248 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... -- Despite the volatility that continues to envelop ... pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com directs the investor community,s focus on ... RDUS ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS ), Arrowhead ... Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX ). Register with us ... http://www.activewallst.com/ On Wednesday, shares in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: