Diabetes professionals join forces to identify gaps in diabetes care and better self care

New York, NY (June 14, 2007) -- A symposium, sponsored by the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Joslin Diabetes Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing identified barriers to, and strategies for, more effective diabetes self management and reaffirmed the nurse's critical role to facilitate better patient self care. These results are published in a special supplement to the June issue of AJN.

"We as health care professionals expect a lot from people with diabetes," said Katie Weinger, EdD, RN, co-editor of the report, director of the Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education and the Office of Research Fellow Affairs at Joslin Diabetes Center and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston. "They need to follow a structured meal, exercise and medication regimen. Newer treatments to prevent complications can make self-care even more complex causing even the most conscientious patients frustration and leading clinicians to think that they are not properly managing their care."

For the nearly 21 million Americans who have diabetes1, and estimated 39 million who will have it by the year 20502, the challenge is to juggle the many aspects of their lives with the demands of therapy. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that costs during 2001, for in-patient treatment of patients with complications from diabetes, were almost $3.8 billion. AHRQ also estimates that two-thirds of this amount ($2.5 billion) were for preventable conditions.

"For those with diabetes and conditions like depression, heart disease or retinopathy, self-care can be even more challenging," said Jane Jeffrie Seley, MPH, MSN, NP, CDE, co-editor of the AJN report and diabetes nurse practitioner at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, NYC. "Someone who is depressed may be less lik

Contact: Cindy Gessell
American Journal of Nursing

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