Episode 12 - Support for Patients With Diabetes

In this segment, Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA, and Yehuda Handelsman, MD, FACP, FACE, FNLA, comment that traditional diabetes management techniques, such as distributing newsletters and brochures to patients, have not improved overall adherence rates to therapy among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Dr Handelsman adds that most patients discard pamphlets without ever reviewing them, and suggests that other adherence-promoting measures may be more effective.

Peter Salgo, MD; Maria Lopes, MD, MS; and Drs Dunn and Handelsman emphasize the importance of social support for patients with diabetes. Dr Lopes explains that social support programs need to be tailored specifically for each individual patient, because different patients have different needs.

Together, the panelists discuss the importance of coordination of care among all stakeholders involved in the patient’s care, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and health plans. Dr Lopes explains that providers need to work as a team to educate, train, motivate, and assess the patient as an individual and help them throughout the entire treatment process.

Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA, describes a program that allows patients with diabetes to go shopping with a dietitian in a grocery store. However, Dr Salgo asks about the costs of such a program.

Drs Dunn and Handelsman argue that although programs to improve patient adherence are costly, they are important. Dr Dunn adds that it is more cost-effective to prevent diabetes than to treat it.

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