The issue of how psychosocial factors can influence diabetes outcomes is the essence of this in-depth analysis on behalf of Roche Diabetes Care
Here, health psychologist Professor Katharine Barnard explores the role that psychosocial factors play in the management of diabetes and the importance of addressing these to improve diabetes outcomes. One interesting angle taken in the piece is that diabetes doesn’t just affect a person physically, but it also can have a significant impact on mental health, well-being and quality of life.
Part of the discussion on this very issue draws our attention to a survey that took place. This concerned no less than 9,000 people with diabetes by Diabetes UK during 2017. It found that 64% of people with diabetes “sometimes or often” feel down because of their disease. It also revealed, significantly, that there is a need for more emotional and psychological support to make living with diabetes easier. In this vein, the author argues that “there is a growing consensus that calls for a change in how diabetes is treated and managed, with a need to focus on the concept of living with diabetes rather than just treating the disease.”
When it comes to innovation in the field, we discover that Roche Diabetes Care has a clinical trial for one of its devices powered on validated patient-reported outcomes measures to demonstrate the efficacy of the device, based on the reduction of psychosocial factors. “This is a very innovative and forward-thinking approach to doing clinical trials, highlighting the growing importance that psychosocial factors play in diabetes management”, we are told.
Looking beyond the UK, we find out that the American Diabetes Association has collaborated with the American Psychological Association to train over 100 mental health providers in diabetes-specific education to prepare them with the tools and knowledge to treat the unique mental health challenges associated with diabetes.
In closing, the author stresses that healthcare professionals want people with diabetes to be prescribed the right therapy that is appropriate for them. Indeed, with the correct personalised support in place, we are told those with diabetes “can achieve optimal blood sugar control with minimal diabetes burden. In this scenario, everyone wins.”
In a bonus piece of content, an informative piece by Head of Policy, Knowledge and Insight at Diabetes UK, Robin Hewings sheds light on the condition of diabetes in the UK. One of the startling facts revealed is that there are 3.7 million people now living with the condition in the UK today, a figure that has more than doubled during the last 20 years. We also learn that in addition to the human cost, diabetes and its many complications cost the NHS £10 billion every year, representing around 10% of the whole NHS budget.