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DRWF Research: Mental health and diabetes - survey reports a third of people with diabetes never asked how they are feeling

DRWF Research: Mental health and diabetes - survey reports a third of people with diabetes never asked how they are feeling

Survey also finds that almost half of people with diabetes see a healthcare professional for 20 minutes or less per year.

Published: Nov 04, 2019
Category: Research
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A third of people with diabetes do not feel their mental well health is being recognised as part of their care from diabetes healthcare professionals – according to the results of a survey on people’s experience of diabetes care.

The Experience of Diabetes Care Survey 2019 was carried out by Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) in partnership with Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF) and the results were launched at this week’s DPC2019.

The survey of more than 430 people with diabetes highlighted concerns over the time healthcare professionals spent discussing mental wellbeing, with 31% of responses claiming they had never been asked how they are feeling.

Sarah Tutton, Chief Executive of DRWF, said: “Mental and physical health are so closely linked, particularly for people living with a long-term condition such as diabetes.

“Managing often complex health needs can take its toll on mental health leaving people feeling isolated, disempowered and disconnected. This then has a detrimental effect on self-management. It is really important that healthcare professionals routinely consider psychological wellbeing alongside physical health.”

The results of the survey also reported that 47% of respondents saw their healthcare professional for a maximum of 20 minutes a year.

A further 29% said they had 20 to 30 minutes of time with a healthcare professional and 24% had more than 30 minutes with their doctor or nurse.

Additional findings included that one in four people with diabetes have never been given any advice about what they eat and 25% of responders also did not receive any lifestyle advice from their healthcare professional, or guidance on what to eat, the findings also showed.

The aim of the online survey was to hear the views of people with diabetes that could improve the way healthcare is delivered in the future for people living with the condition.

By sharing the results DPC and DRWF hope to give healthcare professionals valuable insight into the best way to improve diabetes care, from the perspective of someone living with diabetes.

Results from the survey were released on 29th October on the first day of this year’s Diabetes Professional Care conference at London Olympia.

People with diabetes answered 17 questions about treatment they receive from healthcare professionals.

More than half (55%) of people with diabetes responding to the survey reported that they have never been referred to a specialist dietitian or for either face-to-face or online education for advice on food and nutrition.

In the UK latest figures estimate that one in 10 people aged over 40 now has type 2 diabetes, and the number of people living with all types of diabetes has reached 4.7 million in the UK, with 90% being type 2 diabetes which is linked to lifestyle. The number of people affected by diabetes is expected to reach 5.5 million by 2030, according to Diabetes UK.

People with diabetes are recommended to receive nine NICE-recommended health checks every year. Although seven of the checks were received by the vast majority of those surveyed, only 45% had their BMI (body mass index) checked while just 21% were checked for smoking.

More than a third of those surveyed (38%) believe there is room for improvement in the ability of their health care professional to provide the appropriate level of support in the self-management of diabetes while only 30% of people with diabetes had a formal self-care plan developed for them.

The survey was carried out to generate insights to inform the national diabetes care improvement agenda.

DPC was launched in 2015 to provide the NHS with a free knowledge platform to drive up standards of care after experiencing substandard care upon her own diabetes diagnosis.

Maggie Meer, DPC founder, said: “This nationwide survey represents another great stride together as we seek to gain vital intelligence from people with diabetes to help us push for change. The findings will be used to shape our conference and help inform the future direction of DPC.

“Additionally, the results will also provide the fabric to illuminate a People with Diabetes Wall at DPC2019, which will share honest and inspiring insights and experiences of care and life with diabetes with healthcare professionals.”

Next year’s Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) will be held on 11th and 12th November 2020
Category: Research
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