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The first results of a new study on diabetes suggest that family and emotional support are key factors in how well diabetes patients manage their disease.
The first results of a new international study on diabetes suggest that family and emotional support are key factors in how well diabetes patients manage their disease.
The "psychosocial" study - called DAWN for Diabetes, Attitudes, Wishes and Needs - includes more than 5,000 patients in 13 countries, including the United States.
"This study adds to the growing body of evidence that psychosocial issues play a critical role in how people manage their diabetes and in their long-term health and quality of life," said Richard Rubin, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The DAWN study is unique because it considers these issues from the perspective of people with diabetes and healthcare providers in many countries of the world."
Early results of the DAWN study, sponsored by Denmark-based Novo Nordisk, indicate that diabetes patients consider a supportive network of family, colleagues and friends to be at least as important as the medication they take to help manage their disease. The relationships patients have with family members, colleagues at their workplace or groups of friends have been shown to be a critical factor in improving patients' sense of well-being, which in turn leads to more effective self-management of diabetes. The interim results indicate that people who do not have access to a community of support, especially the young and elderly living alone, may be less likely to comply with their medical regimens and consequently may be at increased risk of improper or inadequate control of their diabetes. Patients responding to the survey also indicated that family or social networks can sometimes put too much pressure on them about taking care of their diabetes, thereby increasing their already heavy burden of anxiety.
Lars Almblom Jorgensen, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Novo Nordisk, said, "We have always known that there is more to treating and managing diabetes than medicines, but now we have a much better understanding of what that is." PR