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Patient Education and Empowerment Can Improve Health Outcomes for Diabetes Patients
Date:8/8/2014

New York, NY (PRWEB) August 09, 2014

Participants in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital study reduced blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels by actively managing their health

A holistic approach to educating and empowering patients with diabetes can significantly improve their health, according to a new study led by diabetes nurse educators from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Ambulatory Care Network. Participants in the study enrolled in a Diabetes Self-Management and Education program (DSME) to reduce their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Nearly one in 11 Americans have diabetes, a chronic condition associated with serious complications.

Presented at the American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting on August 8, the study included 1,263 diabetic patients in a low-income immigrant population in Northern Manhattan. As part of the DSME program's multifaceted approach, participants underwent a comprehensive initial assessment and received four 30-minute individual sessions with a diabetes nurse educator, followed by group sessions focused on reinforcing self-management behaviors and individual goals. Individual patient sessions concentrated on helping patients achieve their goals, while group sessions helped give patients a deeper understanding of their condition and the implications of their actions.

The program's components concentrated on seven self-care behaviors: healthy eating, physical activity, monitoring vital signs, medication management, problem solving, healthy coping and risk reduction. Using the holistic medical home approach to care, patients were referred to specialty services, such as endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, dentists, dietitians, social workers and other providers on an as needed basis.

"Apart from assessing a patient's physical condition," said the study's lead educator, Yesenia C
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