Diabetes Mellitus, Your Lifelong Companion
Could It Be Manipulated?
Diabetes Mellitus is “one of the fastest epidemics in human history”, due to its rapid rise in prevalence worldwide.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not immune to this epidemic.
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly in the Middle East and KSA as shown in the following figure.
In developed countries like the USA and Canada, 50 % of people with diabetes manage to achieve targeted glycaemic control. However much less Saudi people with diabetes can manage to achieve similar targets. It is no surprise that this results in a high rate of diabetes complications locally.
Even with the availability of more novel pharmacological anti-diabetes agents, patient empowerment to achieve behavioral change via structured Diabetes Self-management Education and Support, continues to play an important role in improving clinical outcomes.
Diabetes Mellitus is a lifelong disease. Daily management is primarily self-directed as people with diabetes spend less than 5% of their life with healthcare professionals who care for them. It is essential that they are able to self-manage their condition to achieve optimal health, good quality of life, minimize diabetes related complications and reduce the need for costly healthcare
One approach to empower people with diabetes is by creating access, training and support for diabetes self-management education (DSME). DSME is defined as “collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related Conditions”
DSME has been shown to be associated with improved diabetes outcomes, reduced diabetes complications and decrease in healthcare costs.
It is still a common impression that diabetes education means transfer of information /knowledge from healthcare professionals to people with diabetes using the compliance /adherence model. Over the past decades, it became clear that while knowledge is an essential prerequisite for self-care, knowledge alone is not enough to promote behavior change.
In response to a growing body of evidence, there has been a paradigm shift from the didactic (lecture) teaching style of self-management
Skills to a patient-centered facilitation approach that encourages empowerment and self-efficacy to promote behavior change.
It is critical that the person with diabetes (and caregivers) has the knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to successfully manage the disease.
Successful and effective diabetes management involves seven specific self-care behaviors. They are Healthy Eating, Being Active, Monitoring, Taking Medication, Reducing Risk, Problem Solving and Healthy Coping.
So, we are trying in our hospital to train our visitors about self management of the daily problems they are facing.
Dr. Hesham Magdel-Din Sayed Saleem is Internal Medicine & Endocrinology Consultant with more than 20 years experience in Internal Medicine & Endocrinology.