Public need more help in managing their chronic diseases
30 July 2007
Burgess Hill, England. Eight out of ten adults in the UK
would be willing to self-management their condition if they were diagnosed
with a chronic disease, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease,
according to a survey conducted on behalf of Roche Diagnostics (1).
Those who are able to self manage chronic diseases already, however, are
not making full use of the information and technology available. In diabetes
for example, two out of five adults have poor blood glucose management,
putting them at risk of complications (2).
Roche Diagnostics, a pioneer in
monitoring solutions for people with chronic diseases, is driving a campaign
for greater awareness of the information, support and technologies that are
available to help patients in the self-management of their condition.
There are currently 17.5 million people in the UK who have a long-term
health condition (3). The cost of caring for the complications associated
with these conditions is rising, and with diabetes alone it is around £1
billion every year (4). Many complications are caused through poor
self-management, which could be avoided if the patient was able to take
advantage of the information, support and technologies that are available to
them, such as education packs, monitoring systems, support groups and
training courses (5).
Diabetes UK reports that only 6% of their patient
members undertook associated training available to them in support of their
self-management in 2005.(6)
With a growing body of evidence pointing to
the importance of blood glucose self-monitoring (7), awareness of the
available support is growing but could always be greater.
One such study (8) reviewed by Debbie Hicks, Nurse Consultant in
Diabetes, showed a close association between self-monitoring of Type 2
diabetes with reducing serious complications (such as heart attack, stroke,
blindness and amputation), and improved life expectancy.
The drive to
raise awareness and access to information and education on the role of
self-management is crucial considering that people with diabetes spend 8,757
hours a year self-managing their condition, compared to only three hours a
year with a healthcare professional (9).
Debbie Hicks said: "It is
positive news that the concept of self-management is being embraced by the
public, but it is clear that many people with diabetes are struggling as
they fail to achieve good self-management. There is a wealth of support out
there such as blood glucose monitoring systems and education packs, yet we
need to raise greater awareness of their availability and encourage people
to take advantage of them as appropriate. Speaking to a healthcare
professional is one such way of sourcing this information."
Debbie Hicks said: "Successful patient self-management is vital and requires
a potent mix of the correct treatment, usage of monitoring systems and good
professional education and support. I welcome the fact that Roche is helping
to raise awareness of this."
1. TNS Survey conducted April 2007 amongst 1,001 UK
adults age 16+.
2. Diabetes UK. Diabetes: State of the Nation 2007. London: Diabetes UK
3. Department of Health. Supporting People with Long-Term Conditions. 2005.
The report is available from:
4. National Diabetes Strategic Programme Board, Wanless Report 2002
5. All Primary Care Organisations in England and Wales must, by law, provide
people with diabetes with structured patient education. The UK National
Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has guidance on the use of
patient-education models for diabetes:
6. Diabetes UK. Heartache Report
7. Diabetes Control and Complications Trial on Type 1 diabetes (New England
Journal of Medicine, 329(14), September 30, 1993); Martin S, Schneider B,
Heinemann L, Lodwig V, Kurth H-J, Kolb H, Scherbaum W A: Self-monitoring of
blood glucose in Type 2 diabetes and long-term outcome: an epidemiological
cohort study. Diabetologia (2006) 49: 271-278; Hicks D (2005). Is it worth
monitoring blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetes? Journal of Diabetes
Nursing; Vol 9: 369-372; Welschen L, Bloemendal E, Nijpels G et al (2005).
Self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus
who are not using insulin. The Cochrane Library 2005, Issue 4;
8. Martin S, Schneider B, Heinemann L, Lodwig V, Kurth H-J, Kolb H,
Scherbaum W A. Self-monitoring of blood glucose in Type 2 diabetes and
long-term outcome: an epidemiological cohort study. Diabetologia (2006) 49:
9. Department of Health. Working together for better diabetes care. May
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