Diabetes care for mentally ill not up to scratch

Thu, 15 Dec 2005
Diabetics who also suffer from mental health complications have been the focus of a recent study. The results indicate that patients suffering from both conditions will sometimes receive inadequate care for their diabetes. An estimated 30% of the American population is believed to suffer from some form of mental illness.

The study was carried out by the Veterans Administration Health Services Research and Development Centre of Excellence located in Bedford, Massachusetts. The research investigated data from over 300,000 diabetic patients, 25% were also suffering from mental health conditions.

The study raises concerns over the integration between medical health care services, and mental health care services. Crucial differences identified by the study included patient problems with adhering to medication regimens, and further complications resulting from provider interaction with patients.

The problems were considered more common and pronounced in sufferers from severe mental afflictions. These included substance abuse, personality disorders, psychosis and mania. The more compounded mental complications a patient suffered from, the less likely it was that he or she was receiving the optimum level of care.

The study was not aimed at finding the root causes of the problems, only in identifying what the problems themselves were. One conclusion was certain: the care that diabetes sufferers who also suffer from mental health conditions receive, needs attention.
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