Diabetes epidemic hurt by information gap

A recent survey highlights yet another obstacle to managing diabetes. This impediment is the disparity between what patients and physicians think is the state of disease management.

According to the survey by the Diabetes Roundtable, 69% of type 2 diabetes patients say they feel very knowledgeable or knowledgeable about managing their condition. Meanwhile, 81% of the primary care physicians surveyed say they are frustrated with the number of their type 2 diabetes patients who do not follow their treatment regimen exactly as prescribed.

The survey also found gaps between the two groups in understanding the disease. One-half of the diabetes patients said they have little or no understanding of their A1C level or had not had it checked in the last six months or are unsure if it had been checked. An A1C test evaluates glucose control.

However, the survey found that education does have a positive impact on how knowledgeable patients feel about self-management.

"All too often patients feel they have 'failed' and feel guilty; physicians feel frustrated; no one wins," said Diabetes Roundtable member Donna Rice, M.B.A., R.N., B.S.N., C.D.E, wellness program manager, Botsford General Hospital (MI), and president-elect of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

"Increasingly we recognize that a team-centered approach involving the patient, primary care physician, diabetes educator, behavioral scientist and endocrinologist provides the support and resources best needed to help patients manage the disease."

The Diabetes Roundtable is a multidisciplinary group of diabetes experts convened by the AADE and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists with support from Merck.