Initial consultations between healthcare professionals and newly-diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes should be reviewed, according to New Zealand researchers.
The recommendation comes following a study that found primary care clinicians tend to overwhelm patients with information following their diagnosis.
These initial consultations “are often driven by biomedical explanations out of context from patient experience,” say scientists from the University of Otago, Wellington.
Additionally, patients perceived a time pressure during the consultations, while many patients found the delivery and content of lifestyle advice was one-size-fits-all and not tailored to their own lives.
However, the healthcare professionals involved in the study were shown to display “high levels of technical knowledge and general communication skill”.
The study involved a review of the interactions between 32 newly-diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes who were evaluated as they progressed through the New Zealand healthcare system for six months.
Interactions with the healthcare professionals involved in their care, such as general practitioners, nurses and dietitians, were studied from video recordings.
The researchers behind the study advocate better coordination between healthcare professionals regarding the length and focus of each consultation.
Among other recommendations was to limit overuse of a checklist approach, and for more effective ways to share patient information between clinicians.
Above all, the study authors highlight how important they deem the relationship to be between patients and doctors regarding diabetes management.
“Despite current high skill levels of primary care professionals, opportunities exist to increase the effectiveness of communication and consultation in diabetes care,” concluded the authors.
The findings appear online in the Annals of Family Medicine journal.

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