Navigation Links
Peer Support May Bring Better Control of Diabetes
Date:10/21/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Pairing people with diabetes who are struggling to control their blood sugar levels with their peers for weekly support sessions could be an effective and inexpensive way to help manage the disease, researchers say.

Such a program was linked with significantly reduced blood sugar levels in male veterans with diabetes, according to a new study appearing in the Oct. 19 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors initially identified almost 1,700 veterans who might be eligible for the trial, but were only able to enroll 244. The 200-plus participants, all male, were randomized either to be matched up with another diabetes patient for weekly peer support and the option of attending group sessions, or to undergo one educational training and then receive care from a nurse care manager.

According to study author Dr. Michele Heisler, this model of peer support is less hierarchical than most systems in the United States.

"We explicitly wanted to test whether patients who were having self-management challenges and ... [who] had dangerously high blood sugar levels over the prior three months ... might be better motivated themselves if given the opportunity to both help and receive help from another participant facing similar self-management challenges and who also had poor control," explained Heisler, who is a research scientist with the Center for Clinical Management Research at the Ann Arbor VA.

This appeared to be the case: Men in the peer-support group saw a significant drop in their HbA1c levels (a measure of blood sugar over time) -- from an average of 8.02 to 7.73 percent over six months, which represented a 0.58 percent decrease from those in the control group, who received care from a nurse.

"That is equivalent to adding a new oral anti-hyperglycemic medication and a very clinically significant difference," said Heisler, who is also associate professor of internal medicine and health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Blood pressure dropped slightly (although not significantly) in both groups, and no adverse effects were noted in either. Eight patients in the peer group also started on insulin during the trial, as opposed to just one in the control group, indicating that peer support may also be instrumental in convincing often-resistant patients to initiate insulin therapy, the authors stated.

Further study is needed to tease out which parts of a peer group intervention are most successful, concluded the authors, who noted that their research was limited in that it involved only men, lasted just six months, and was not a double-blind study.

In addition to the weekly telephone calls, patients in the peer group met about four-and-a-half hours more than those in the control group, which probably accounted for at least some of the improvement, said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"In diabetes, every time we spend more time with the patient - it could be a [nurse], a physician, or a Johnny-do-gooder, it reminds the patient to do something or to be more engaged," he said. "The outcomes short-term tend to be better."

Zonszein pointed out that almost 1,000 veterans contacted declined to participate, a fact which he said may not bode well for the success of this type of system in the real world.

However, he said, such programs may "play a role, especially in minority populations where either language or ethnicity is very different from our traditional American population. They really help the bridging between health-care providers."

Peer educators may "almost be better suited for [certain] important ingredients of diabetes self-management," added Sharon Movsas, a certified diabetes educator who, like Zonszein, is with Montefiore Clinical Diabetes Center. "The patient needs to feel empowered and confident... It's not so much knowing what to eat but 'how am I going to change my behavior?' That involves problem-solving and goal-setting skills and the evidence shows that ... the person can relate better to a peer who might have more similarities than a teacher in the front of the room."

More information

For more on living with diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.

SOURCES: Michele Heisler, M.D., research scientist, Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor VA and associate professor, internal medicine and health behavior and health education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Sharon Movsas, RD, certified diabetes educator, Montefiore Clinical Diabetes Center; Oct. 19, 2010, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Postpartum intervention/support prevents smoking relapse, extends breastfeeding duration
2. Protein clamps tight to telomeres to help prevent aging ... and support cancer
3. Protein clamps tight to telomeres to help prevent aging...and support cancer
4. Urgent steps needed to tackle inadequate support for women with secondary breast cancer
5. New iPhone app, MedWatcher, to support real-time drug safety surveillance
6. Society of Interventional Radiology supports research for new MS treatments
7. Study Offers Support for Surgery After Compression Fracture
8. New state surveys affirm Americans support for government action on climate change
9. Mayo Clinic finds withdrawing ventricular assist device support ethical
10. Pilot study supports adolescent diabetes patients through personalized text messages
11. Experts Support FDA Panels Backing of New Blood Thinner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Peer Support May Bring Better Control of Diabetes
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Vetoquinol USA® ... introducing Flexadin UCII, part of the EQUISTRO line, at this week’s Rolex Kentucky ... horses at the immunologic level. , The scientifically-developed Flexadin UCII supports the body’s ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Michael Vick announced his retirement earlier ... position. The former overall number one pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, to the ... the record for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback (6,109) and the ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... NEPC Director Kevin ... of Education Research Award. The award honors scholars exemplary in their capacity to ... scholar who has demonstrated the capacity to deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Seattle, Washington (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... T-Fal OptiGrill, Oxiclean, Space Bag, Sonicare Toothbrush, Juiceman Juicer, and the George Foreman Grill ... than perhaps any other marketer in the last 25 years. , Now, due to ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... that they are seeking public support to bring their novel lifesaving device for ... wearable device packed with medical-grade sensors, specially designed to read a child’s vital ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... devices market to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... and BLOOMINGTON, Minn. , April ... IMMY ) ("Imprimis"), an ophthalmology-focused pharmaceutical company, ... Lens"), today announced the signing of a three-year ... Lens will deploy a dedicated sales team to ... the U.S., primarily focused in 13 states in ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... Molecular Imaging Equipment and Radiopharmaceuticals Market, Forecast to 2023" ... ... revenues as well as growth in the number of unit ... to market participants that design and manufacture molecular imaging equipment. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: