Diabetics failing to properly self-manage their condition

Thu, 12 Apr 2012
A new study has found that many people who suffer from diabetes are not properly self-managing their condition.

The research, carried out at Queen Mary, University of London and reported in the journal BMC Health Services Research, highlighted the difficulties experienced by diabetics on a daily basis, such as keeping an eye on blood sugar levels, sorting out the necessary medication and maintaining a restrictive diet. Thirty diabetics were monitored to assess the various challenges they faced, finding that some were not self-managing properly due to family responsibilities, while others had financial problems or other medical conditions that prevented them from completely managing their diabetes.

Researcher Trisha Greenhalgh commented "Until now there has been very little research on what people with diabetes do and how they cope when health professionals aren't around."

She added "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 skillful at undertaking and co-ordinating all the different tasks involved."

It was also shown that many people in the UK could better manage their condition by taking part in a short educational course on self-management, although because it does not involve factors such as how family members and colleagues behave towards the diabetes and food labelling in restaurants, not all will find it effective.
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