Why is it critical to integrate a structured patient education programme in the chronic disease management initiatives?
Structured patient education programmes can make a lot of difference in the management of chronic illnesses like diabetes. Once diagnosed, patients have to live with these conditions for years. That’s why it’s critical to have proper understanding of the disease and treatment targets. Patients need regular educational sessions to cope with the condition.
Educational sessions are typically conducted in small groups by trained nursing staff, who often have better rapport with patients than the doctors.
These sessions are also a good opportunity for patients to share their know-how of the disease, experience, and coping strategies with others.
We’ve witnessed an explosion in diabetes cases over the years. Why do you think this has happened?
Type 2 diabetes has attained the status of a global pandemic. About 10 per cent of the global population has diabetes. Sedentary lifestyle and changes in food habits, resulting from rapid urbanisation, could be the main reasons.
What’s the doctor’s role in the prevention of diabetes?
About one third of the adult population has pre-diabetes. About 25 per cent of them progress to diabetes over a period of five years. We advise regular screening tests to identify these cases and prevent the onset of diabetes. Intensive lifestyle changes that involve physical activities, diet and weight loss can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 50 per cent.
Sometimes they simply give up and submit to the illness. This can be very dangerous. This is where educational sessions help, allowing patients to interact with others who are in similar situation, and cope with their feelings.
Most people who have lived with diabetes for many years or decades, have experienced periods of deep frustration. How do you help a patient overcome diabetes burnout?
Living with a chronic disease takes a toll on our physical and emotional health. Constant lifestyle changes and medication often make the patient feel fatigued and emotionally worn-out. Sometimes they simply give up and submit to the illness. This can be very dangerous. This is where educational sessions help, allowing patients to interact with others who are in similar situation, and cope with their feelings.
Setting small, realistic targets often makes the patient feel motivated, encouraging them to follow the treatment better.
Has the availability of newer drugs changed the way you treat diabetes?
Over the last few years, many diabetic medications have been added to the armamentarium of a physician. Hypoglycemic episodes, gastric intolerance, weight gain, inadequate efficacy are some of the main concerns of diabetes medications. Newer class of drugs and modified release preparations have helped physicians to overcome these issues to a great extent.
Newer analogue insulins have almost replaced the older versions of insulins. They are more effective and have lesser side effects. Insulins pens have made the administration of insulin easier. Continuous insulin infusion with insulin pumps is a very effective treatment for some cases of uncontrolled diabetes, but patents’ acceptance of this treatment modality is low.