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Study Shows Health Care Professionals Get Better Diabetes Care
Over half of doctors and nurses with diabetes use the pump

How Diabetes Specialists Treat Their Own Diabetes: Findings From a Study of the AADE and ADA Membership," published in the May/June 2000 issue of The Diabetes Educator, shows that doctors and nurses care for their own diabetes differently than they care for their patients. Over half of doctors and nurses with diabetes reported using an insulin pump instead of injections, which is about 10 times higher than the rate of pump use among patients with Type 1 diabetes.

"This study proves a huge disconnect in the medical community. As doctors, we have the ability to give diabetes patients the power to keep themselves much healthier with the current standard of diabetes treatment," says Dr. Michael Perley, an endocrinologist with Type 1 diabetes. "It is critical that healthcare systems and general practitioners, who treat most of the diabetics in this country, take steps to educate their patients about the importance of tight glycemic control and the various treatment options available to them including insulin pump therapy."

Over 12,500 surveys were distributed to all professional members of the American Association of the Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), asking only those with diabetes to complete the survey. 802 surveys were returned.

The prevalence of Type 1 diabetes in this sample was estimated to be higher than that of the general U.S. population. Of the respondents with Type 1 diabetes, 96 percent practiced intensive treatment regimens. Intensive management is defined as three or more shots per day or use of an insulin pump. In the general population less than 25 percent of people with Type 1 diabetes practice intensive therapy. The survey confirmed that diabetes specialists treat their own diabetes according to current standards of medical care as recommended by the American Diabetes Association, and that insulin pumps are the preferred method of therapy for Type 1 diabetes in this sample.

"As a physician with Type 1 diabetes, I am an advocate of tight glycemic control and believe that insulin pump therapy should be the first line of treatment for this form of the disease," said Dr. Perley. "This study proves that is incumbent upon the diabetic patient to communicate concerns about their disease and its effects on their life to their doctors and nurses. Hopefully, we can narrow the communications gap between doctor and patient."

Posted 28 April 2000

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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