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Home blood glucose monitoring: a useful self-management tool

There is no doubt that the introduction of home blood glucose monitoring has helped to revolutionize diabetes management and reduce the amount of time people with diabetes need to spend in hospital to stabilize their condition. However, this has given rise to a series of compliance and management issues for the person with diabetes and the health professional who provides their care. Jan Alford reports.

Enhancing health communication: the German experience

The recent euphoria surrounding the positive effects of preventative measures with people with impaired glucose tolerance or manifest Type 2 diabetes is rarely reflected in the experience of the health-care professionals working with people with diabetes. Despite efforts to advise and inform, there is very little lasting change in health-care behaviour. Many health-care professionals report feelings of frustration and anger. They often describe the people in their care as 'difficult'.

In practice: DAWN in Latin America and the Caribbean

Relatively few studies have examined the psycho-social impact of diabetes. The Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs (DAWN) Programme addressed this issue in a study involving people with diabetes from 13 countries. A key finding was that depression was much more common in people with diabetes than in those without the condition, and was associated with impaired self-management and quality of life. Other studies confirm that depression often impairs metabolic control in people with the condition.

Keeping people at the centre of care: a challenge to health professionals?

The establishment of a practice which puts the person at the centre of care will require a change in the attitudes and beliefs of health professionals, and people with diabetes. A service which places the person with diabetes at the centre of care will undoubtedly demand the adoption of this philosophy by the organizations responsible for the delivery of diabetes care, as well as those networks serving the

Empowering children with diabetes and their parents

When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, the news usually comes as a shock to all family members. This often provokes a crisis which is associated with grief and sadness; a complex scenario emerges. Children with diabetes and their parents often feel overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge required to effectively manage the condition. Parents and children experience feelings of guilt. Parents sometimes feel they may have been able to prevent their child's diabetes; children may blame themselves for an illness, and perceive the condition and its treatment as a form of punishment.

Diabetes education: overcoming affective roadblocks

In diabetes care, the principal objective is to improve health outcomes and ensure the total well-being of people with the condition. In order to achieve this, it is important to reach the person beyond the laboratory results and blood glucose

Quality communication improving quality of life

The ultimate goal of diabetes care is to enhance the quality of life of people with the condition. Quality of life is increasingly used as a factor in the evaluation of the quality of care. The results of this evaluation are used by health-care providers in order to make recommendations for future care. Only the person receiving care is capable of evaluating their quality of life during and following medical care.

Website for kids offer support

With the advent of the internet and the World Wide Web came the perfect medium to unite families who have children with diabetes. Highly interactive, always available, I realized that the World Wide Web is ideal for an online community. In July 1995, I created Children with Diabetes, childrenwithdiabetes.com, the world’s first website devoted to families with children with diabetes.

Diabetes education in the spotlight

The IDF Congress has historically served as an international forum for sharing scientific advances. For the first time in Congress history, education, nutrition and the psychosocial aspects of diabetes were showcased in a specific track and addressed in a plenary lecture at the 17th IDF Congress in Mexico City. The inclusion of these themes served as a reassuring confirmation that the world's diabetes experts recognize the relevance of education and psychosocial aspects in improving diabetes outcomes.

National diabetes centres guarantee better healthcare in Hungary

People with diabetes in Hungary have access to free insulin, subsidized medication and diabetes equipment within a healthcare system whereby diabetes care is provided mainly by General Practitioners (GPs). Only a small number of people with diabetes - those with type 1 and difficult type 2 cases - are treated at national diabetes centres. These diabetes centres however provide a guarantee for better healthcare for all by consulting with and organizing postgraduate training for family doctors.

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