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Breaking down the barriers to good glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes: a debate on the role of nurses

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Abstract

The number of people with diabetes worldwide is projected to reach 380 million by 2025, with 90% of these cases attributed to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause a range of long-term complications, including heart disease, stroke and blindness. Studies have shown that poor glycaemic control can increase the risk of developing these complications and guidelines have been developed that provide recommenda-tions on how best to manage diabetes and encourage good glycaemic control. How-ever, a number of barriers to achieving good glycaemic control remain and in many parts of the world treatment is suboptimal. It is generally agreed that glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) testing represents the best way to monitor blood glucose levels. Yet many doctors lack the time and resources required to implement recommended guidelines on HbA1c monitoring. Consequently, patients have a lack of understanding of HbA1c testing and do not achieve target levels. Nurses have an important role to play in treating diabetes. Evidence demonstrates that, through patient support and education, nurses have a notable, positive impact on the proportion of patients achieving HbA1c targets. Given the epidemic proportions of diabetes worldwide, the importance of nurses in diabetes management is likely to increase further in the coming years. Copyright © 2009 FEND

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