Title : Diabetes patient, family & community education, strategies to improve patient compliance
Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease that affects millions worldwide. India, with one of the largest and most diverse populations of people living with diabetes, experiences significant barriers in successful diabetes care. Type II diabetes continues to be a major health problem in India.
The paradigm of diabetes management has shifted to focus on empowering the person with diabetes to manage the disease successfully and to improve their quality of life.
Diabetes is one of the chronic illnesses for which self-management plays a central role in care. To optimize their health, individuals with diabetes may be advised regarding diet and exercise, frequent medical examinations, annual specialized examinations of their eyes and feet, and, for many, prescribed multiple oral or injected medications every day and for lifetime.
Diabetes self-management education program led by trained community health workers or PHC nurses and Dietitians play an important role to reduce disparities in diabetes care and outcomes in medically underserved communities. Education of vulnerable communities can become a cost-effective public health strategy as proven in many studies. Most of the private hospitals in Kerala do have a diabetes clinic, but mostly it is physician lead and patients and their family members do not have the opportunity to meet a diabetes educator.
Since family members can play a vital role in a patient’s disease management, involving them in self-care interventions may positively influence patients’ diabetes outcomes. It is important to provide family members with information about the illness and possible treatment options, validate their experiences as providers of support, teach them various stress management skills, and help them plan for the future. Group health education can affect family behavior and attitude in implementing life style modifications
Access to diabetes education is critically important; providing diabetes educators to individuals, family members with involvement of community will serve to improve clinical and quality of life outcomes for diabetes community.