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Enhancing literacy and life skills among people with diabetes in Argentina

Around 780 million adults worldwide – most of them living in developing countries – are locked into a life of isolation and poverty because they cannot read or write. In people with diabetes, low literacy severely complicates the day-to-day management of their condition or, indeed, entirely precludes effective self-care – in many cases leading to tragic consequences.


The Alphabet Strategy: an evidence-based approach to diabetes care

Meeting the needs of people with diabetes is complicated and demanding for both people with the condition and their healthcare providers. Moreover, diabetes is expensive, and costs are rising worldwide. Diabetes healthcare providers in all

Addressing barriers to care in elderly African-American women in rural areas

Diabetes is a major health concern; 246 million people are diagnosed and living with the disease worldwide. The growing global prevalence of type 2 diabetes is correlated with the ongoing rise in obesity. In the USA, where diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death, the number of people with the condition has tripled in the last 30 years. The number of people with the condition is set to increase in coming years as populations age.

Small-scale strategies to improve diabetes awareness in those who need it most

After only a few hours at an outpatient diabetes clinic in Tanzania, it becomes apparent to any observer that most people with diabetes arrive unaccompanied. The lack of affordable transportation forces people to visit the clinics alone. Unfortunately, such behaviour not only fosters a lack of support from the family but also creates a gap between the family and the healthcare provider. When it comes to managing diabetes at a population level, a team approach is necessary that includes people with diabetes, their family and their healthcare providers.

Why I adopted a reduced carbohydrate approach

Having lived with diabetes for many years, Ron Raab noticed that when he reduced the amount of carbohydrate in his diet, his blood glucose levels improved. His experience of the shortcomings of high-carbohydrate dietary recommendations in regulating his blood glucose led him to adopt an alternative approach. In this article, the author outlines his choice of a much reduced carbohydrate dietary intake as a key element of his diabetes management.

The Steno Diabetes Center: from education to action

The Steno Diabetes Center was founded in 1932. It has since been a leading player in the struggle against diabetes through clinical care and development, and wide research activities. During the 1980s, the paternalistic model of care was shown to be inadequate to cover the demands of people with diabetes. The need for coaching, learning and education became clear. A team approach was gradually developed, involving nurses, dietitians and foot specialists, as well as physicians.

Lifestyle education for children - some useful strategies

In many cases, overweight and obesity in children constitute a grim warning for future health: if no action is taken, an overweight or obese child is likely to grow into an overweight or obese adult with a series of chronic health problems – among them, type 2 diabetes. Indeed, obesity-related health conditions, including the metabolic syndrome – a strong risk factor for cardiovascular diseases – are increasingly prevalent among children around the world.

Improving the quality of diabetes education in Vietnam - a community-based approach

Recent economic development in Vietnam, which has a population of nearly 90 million people, has been accompanied by rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes. However, diabetes management in general is far from optimum, due largely to the lack of specific education available to people with the condition. There is only a small number of specialized educators, and diabetes education is generally provided by doctors who do not have the time or background to carry out this work adequately.

The need for tact, openness and honesty when talking about complications

Discussing the sensitive issue of long-term complications is difficult for people with diabetes and the healthcare providers who work with them. Consequently, this area of diabetes management is often not handled well. In some situations, healthcare providers are reluctant to impose 'unpleasant' information on people who might be struggling to cope with diabetes; in others, the potential risk of developing complications might be used as a threat in an attempt to scare people into following medical advice.

A case for including peers as providers of diabetes self-management education

Diabetes distinguishes itself from many other chronic conditions because of the complexity of its day-to-day management – both medical management and self-management, which must be carried out by people with diabetes on a sometimes hourly basis. People require self-management education in order to master these complexities. Kate Lorig discusses the complexity of diabetes self-management education, how it is currently delivered, and suggests an effective additional means of offering this education.

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