Why is self-management for people with diabetes so important?

The sad fact is that diabetes is not managed optimally for most patients.  Current health care models where a patient, perhaps when they are feeling unwell, visits the doctor and the doctor tells the patient what to do have too many gaps when it comes to success in acheiving long term success  in diabetes and management of other chronic diseases.

The URL below will take you to a site which aims to improve chronic disease management in a systematic way. The video explores the theory behind improving chronic disease management.

What patients need from their health care providers is:

To have their disease identified and controlled.

Have difficulties in keeping to action plans addressed.

Given advice and skills to help them keep better care of themselves.

Access to care when things go wrong.

Appropriate follow up to see that they stay on track of their disease management.

Help to navigate through the health care processes that can help them including access to community programmes, hospital care, specialist care, family support a occupational health care and disabilty support care.

In order to change outcomes for patients for the better changes are needed.

Physicican behaviours.

Better use of non-physician team members.

Improvements in information systems.

Planned proactive encounters.

Self-management support.

This course is all about self-management and education. Interestingly a Cochrane Collaborative Review 2001 and a Journal of the American Medical Association Re-review in 2002 showed that 19 out of 20 studies which included a self-management component improved the care of diabetes patients.

 In order to make the best of living with diabetes patients need to have the motivation, information, skills and confidence necessary to effectively make decisions about their health and manage it. In order to get the best from our consultations with health care providers we need them to help us assess our clinical status, our self-management skills, tailor our clinical management to what is best for us as individuals as well as what has been found evidentially, and collaborate with us in goal setting and problem solving. We need active follow up over many years.


Additional information