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Diabetes patients 'get more healthy living advice than they think'

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Clinicians believe they provide more healthy living advice to diabetes patients than patients think they get, according to study by Newcastle University.

Researchers interviewed around 500 nurses and doctors and 3,500 patients.

They found 99.6% of clinicians said they routinely talked about physical activity and 88% about diet with diabetes patients. Yet only 45% of diabetes patients said a clinician had talked to them about physical activity during the previous year, while for diet advice the figure was 57%.

Gillian Hawthorne, the lead researcher in the study, said: “We are very surprised by just how much difference there was in patient and clinician feedback.

“Clearly, clinicians are committed to give people with diabetes the right guidance but all too often this advice is not being heard by the patient. We need to look into how the right messages get across clearly,” she added.

The findings were presented last week at a Diabetes UK conference in Glasgow.

Simon O’Neill, the charity’s director of care, policy and intelligence, said: “Whether someone has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is important that if they are overweight then they know they are at an increased risk of devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease or amputation.

“We hope this research highlights the importance of clinicians making sure their advice to people with diabetes is crystal clear and jargon free.”


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