Patient-centred care

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Inpatient care for people with diabetes - bringing good practice into hospital

People with diabetes occupy a significant proportion of hospital beds – about 10% in the UK, although this may be an underestimate. While diabetes specialists are often based in a hospital, the majority of people with diabetes who are admitted to hospital – at a time when their diabetes might be difficult to control – do not actually meet the diabetes team.

Preparing a global healthcare workforce for the challenge of chronic conditions

Chronic conditions are increasing. The number of people affected by chronic non-communicable conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, is growing worldwide. Collectively, chronic conditions were responsible for 35 million – a full 60% – of all deaths in 2005. This is twice the number of deaths due to infectious diseases, poor maternal health and malnutrition combined. In addition to causing high death rates, chronic conditions account for almost half of the world’s disability.

The effects of diabetes on depression and depression on diabetes

Diabetes can have both a daily and long-term impact on people with the condition – both physically and in terms of its psychosocial effects. It is now known that people with diabetes are at a substantially increased risk of experiencing mental distress, particularly depression. Furthermore, a growing bank of evidence points to a two-way relationship between the conditions. Yet depression is often under-diagnosed in people with diabetes.

Managing chronic disease as a team - new models of care delivery

As the world’s population ages, the impact of chronic diseases will drive health systems around the world in two ways – adding significantly to the cost, and imposing considerable constraints on the already strained healthcare workforce. It is estimated that the health budgets of most developed nations will consume 20% of their gross domestic product by the 2020s. The most recent World Health Organization Health Workforce Report suggests shortfalls of some 4.3 million healthcare workers over the next decade – including nurses, doctors and health administrators.

Treating people with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders - the need for a multidisciplinary approach

Since early case reports in the 1980’s, there has been considerable interest in examining the connection between type 1 diabetes and eating disorders. Some researchers argue that the attention to food portions (especially carbohydrates), blood glucose, body weight, and exercise that are characteristic of standard medical treatment for type 1 diabetes resembles the rigid thinking about food and body image that is characteristic of people with eating disorders without diabetes.

Shared leadership: improving diabetes services through better clinical team working

The development of leaders in healthcare is recognized as being integral to improving the quality of care. However, where most leadership development focuses on an individual, a recent intervention in the UK operated on the theory that improvements are more likely to last if all team members are involved in developing leadership skills and understanding. In this article, Jan Walmsley and Andy Brown report on ‘Shared Leadership for Change’, which aimed to improve team effectiveness in six diabetes clinical networks.

The changing face of coeliac disease: links with other autoimmune disorders

The onset of coeliac disease, together with type 1 diabetes, influences glycaemic control, and more precisely the development of hypoglycaemia. These conditions share a similar genotype. The main problem of coeliac disease is intolerance to gliadin, a gluten protein found in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley; the only treatment is a gluten-free diet. Spomenka Ljubic and Zeljko Metelko report on the growing body of evidence linking coeliac disease and other autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes, and describe recommended procedures for its diagnosis and treatment.

Breastfeeding and diabetes - benefits and special needs

Breastfeeding has numerous advantages for mothers with diabetes and their babies. Nursing mothers have lower insulin requirements and better control of their blood glucose; breastfed babies may have a lower risk of developing diabetes themselves. Alison Stuebe describes these potential benefits and highlights the special needs of breastfeeding mothers with diabetes.

Motivating, learning and socializing: summer camps for elderly people with diabetes

A conversation with a 70-year-old woman with diabetes gave an endocrinologist working in Belgrade, Serbia, an interesting idea. The patient expressed her desire to go on holiday but was clearly worried about managing her diabetes away from home – without access to familiar healthcare resources. Teodora Beljic recognized the need for some form of holiday facility for older people with diabetes, and decided to explore the feasibility of recreational and educational programmes.

Cape Town 2006: a global event with a focus on Africa and the developing world

When IDF brings together the global diabetes community at a World Diabetes Congress, it does so with a number of key objectives, which include raising overall diabetes awareness, sharing innovative ideas and best practices, and helping to build and consolidate networks – in line with the Federation’s mission to promote care, prevention and a cure for diabetes worldwide.

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