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During today’s discussion we reviewed the statistics for diabetes with an emphasis on the most common type in the United States: type 2 diabetes. We reviewed the risk factors associated with diabetes, the complications that lead to additional morbidity and mortality, and the health care costs associated with diabetes treatments. The course listed categories of treatment for diabetes that include lifestyle management, medication therapies, and management of co-existing conditions and complications. Research findings on the barriers to optimal diabetes management were discussed, including those for patients and care providers. We briefly reviewed some recently revised and established guidelines for diabetes management which reinforced the notion of patient-centered care to consider patient perceptions and responses to treatment recommendations.

Indicators of non-adherence include many factors, such as clinical events and erratic glucose control, missing appointments, poor relationships with care providers, and others. Cost factors for medication and other therapies are very strong considerations for most patients. Enhancing adherence requires team management, which includes the patient and health care team members, to assess and match appropriate solutions for identified barriers. Overcoming barriers to optimal diabetes management is essential to maintaining blood glucose control and preventing additional conditions and complications, some of which are irreversible. Research suggests that better adherence to therapies can yield better clinical and quality of life outcomes, as well as reduce overall health care costs.

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