Maintaining Quality of Life in Patients with Diabetes

Patients with diabetes face a number of challenges in their daily life, especially monitoring their blood glucose levels. There is work being done in the medical community to monitor other potential issues that can affect quality of life overall and how to address them.

%jwplayer%

Patients with diabetes face a number of challenges in their daily life, especially monitoring their blood glucose levels. There is work being done in the medical community to monitor other potential issues that can affect quality of life overall and how to address them.

Kimberly A. Driscoll, PhD, from the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at the University of Colorado chaired a session on this topic during the annual American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA. Driscoll said doctors can be so busy focusing on numbers to treat their patients that they forget to look at the whole person to help them manage the condition and life outside of it.

What was the focus of your discussion?

I was the chair of a session that had three presenters who presented on quality of life.

What was the message from your session?

We want to stop looking so much at the numbers and we want to look at quality of life.

Why is this message important?

We put so much emphasis on A1c and the meaning of that, without really looking at people’s quality of life.

What is the quality of life for patients today?

It’s very subjective and it’s hard to make a general statement because there are some people who really adhere to the diabetes regiment. In type 1it’s super demanding. They have to do so many blood glucose tests a day, count carbs, they have to give themselves insulin boluses, all in the context of energy expenditure and stress. And that’s just a tiny portion of what they have to do.

And so, there are some people who do that pretty flawlessly and it improves their quality of life. But then there are other people where it negatively impacts their quality of life. And so, I think in a lot of ways quality of life has improved over the decades, but there’s no question that the more complex, the more demanding the regiment is, it can impact quality of life for sure.

What other factors contribute to quality of life issues for patients?

You know again, it kind of depends on the person, right? Because there are so many things that can be impacting their quality of life that are independent of diabetes actually. It could be a difficult home situation for kids. There could be lots of family stressors going on. For adults, it could be worry about insurance and financial situation.