Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Diabetics and Doctors Often at Odds on Priorities | March 17, 2010

A new US study from University of Michigan Medical School suggests that Type 2 diabetics do not always agree with their doctors on the most pressing health concerns around their condition, and that this may be affecting their ability to control the illness.

For the study, researchers surveyed 92 doctors and nearly 1,200 patients who have both diabetes and hypertension. While both doctors and patients frequently ranked diabetes and hypertension among their top concerns, 38% of doctors ranked hypertension as the most important. Meanwhile, diabetics were more likely to rank pain and depression as the most pressing concern, while only 18% of diabetics said hypertension was the most important.

The study showed that doctors tended to focus on managing patients’ risk of long-term complications, such as kidney disease, while patients focused on more immediate issues, such as depression and back pain. While focusing on avoiding long-term complications makes sense, researchers suggest that putting these more immediate problems on the back burner may interfere with patients’ ability to manage their diabetes today, which may in turn lead to more problems.

“If a patient and their doctor do not agree on which of these issues should be prioritized, it will be difficult for them to come up with an effective treatment plan together,” says lead author Donna M. Zulman, M.D., a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan Medical School and researcher at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Ann Arbor.

Via: Diabetics and Doctors Often at Odds on Priorities


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