Diabetes nurses report extra well being dangers for sufferers, disrupted care throughout COVID-19

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January 25, 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused physical and psychological distress for people with diabetes as well as significant disruptions in clinical diabetes care, according to a survey of diabetes nurses in Europe.

“This survey has provided some novel and timely insight into the impact of COVID-19 on people with diabetes and diabetes services across Europe,” wrote Rita Forde, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at King’s College London, and colleagues in a published study in diabetic medicine . “Overall, the data suggest that the pandemic has negatively impacted the physical and mental health risks of people with diabetes. An increase in acute diabetes events has been reported. new diagnoses; and anxiety, diabetes, and depression. The survey also revealed significant disruptions in routine diabetes care, particularly in relation to self-management and psychological support. “

Diabetes Words 2019
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The researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey that was distributed to diabetes nurses from 27 European countries. The survey included questions about respondents’ characteristics and work context, the impact of COVID-19 on patients with diabetes being cared for by respondents, and the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of diabetes. The survey was distributed via email and social media platforms known to diabetes nurse networks and other groups from early June to July.

The researchers analyzed the responses from 1,829 participants. All responders were registered nurses. 62% said they had 8 or more years of diabetes experience and 83% had a diabetes qualification.

The data showed that 48% of participants said the mental health risks were “severe” and 37% said the risks for people with diabetes had increased “a little” during the pandemic. Anxiety, diabetes and depression were the three most common mental health problems mentioned by respondents. In addition, 75% of the respondents stated that the physical health risks for patients have increased either “a little” or “a lot”. 29% of the study population said hospital admissions for diabetes had increased during the pandemic, and 25% said diabetic ketoacidosis had increased.

Most respondents said COVID-19 disrupted routine diabetes care. 47% described the disorder as “serious” or “extreme”. Diabetes education, psychological support, and self-management support were the areas of greatest disruption. Respondents said they found modest disorders with diabetes technology and drug support. Approximately two-thirds of respondents said that priority should be given to care for those who are most at risk of complications, such as: B. the newly diagnosed, the patients with high glucose levels, the pregnant women and the patients with diabetes. Telephone was the most common way respondents contacted patients, followed by email. Group interaction fell from the second most common way of contacting patients before COVID-19 to the least common during the pandemic.

“What is worrying is that at this time of heightened need for people with diabetes, the survey found that care for diabetes was severely disrupted during the pandemic, particularly related to supporting diabetes self-management,” the researchers wrote. “The impact on group formation is a major concern as it can result in delays in accessing structured educational programs in many newly diagnosed or in those with established diabetes.”

In the UK, more participants reported more severe psychological effects compared to other European countries (64% versus 42%) and more severe physical effects (31% versus 27%). Nurses who work with people with type 2 diabetes reported that there were more negative physical effects than nurses who work with people with type 1 diabetes (38% versus 23%).

The researchers said the results reveal some of the biggest problems diabetics face during the pandemic, and highlight areas where providers should focus on improving care.

“As the COVID-19 situation persists, we urgently need to adjust care systems to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the diabetes population,” the researchers wrote.

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