Engaging and empowering patients to manage their type 2 diabetes, Part I: a knowledge, attitude, and practice gap?
For over 20 years, the World Health Assembly has recognized diabetes (type 1 and type 2) as a serious threat to national health and economic development and called for action regarding its prevention and control. However, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise despite a significant percentage of cases being preventable. Furthermore, data suggest that in many patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels remain above the agreed international and national target levels, despite the availability of numerous antihyperglycemic agents, the best intentions of both patient and physician, and the support of the wider healthcare team. Part I of this two-part review considers evidence that seems to suggest there is a knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) gap in type 2 diabetes, and that although theoretical knowledge of how type 2 diabetes should be managed exists, the attitude of patients and healthcare professionals may influence the practicalities of implementing life-enhancing changes for patients living day-to-day with the condition. Here, we consider why there may be a KAP gap, how type 2 diabetes is currently being assessed and managed, and whether these current management approaches remain valid in the light of recent studies evaluating the impact of lowering current target HbA1c levels. This article also explores how encouraging patients to self-manage their disease, as well as engaging all stakeholders in the necessary behavioral changes, can positively influence the long-term treatment outcomes of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Keywordsant ihyperglycemic agents cardiovascular risk diabetes management glycemic control patient engagement type 2 diabetes
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