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Evidence-based patient information in diabetes

, : Evidence-based patient information in diabetes. Diabetic Medicine 17(12): 823-829

Patient education in diabetes has been successful in training and motivating patients to assume a more active and independent role in monitoring and treating their disease resulting in an improvement of patient-orientated outcomes. Traditionally, diabetes education has mainly aimed at increasing patient compliance to physician-defined therapeutic goals and treatment strategies. To strengthen their rights and autonomy, patients need to become more involved in medical decision making with respect to their individual therapeutic goals, such as HbA1c and blood pressure, body weight, etc., as well as choosing whether they pursue these goals. The importance of patient participatation is particularly relevant to Type 2 diabetes. Even perfect, long-term therapeutic co-operation will not eliminate diabetic complications, only reduce the risk of developing them. The benefits, lack of benefits and unwanted effects of various interventions need to be communicated to the patient in an unbiased manner, so that he/she can make an informed choice with regard to different therapeutic goals and strategies. In diabetes, ways of presenting patients with unbiased information to enable them to make such informed decisions are not yet available. We present ways of how this might be achieved using data provided by the UKPDS. The concept of patient participation in medical decision making represents a fundamental challenge for the future development of diabetes care.


PMID: 11168323

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