Differences in perspectives regarding diabetes management between health care providers and patients

Academic Article


  • Chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes are challenging to manage. This is often due to failure of both the practice of effective diabetes self-care management by the patient and inadequate intervention strategies and follow-up by the health care provider (HCP). The aims of the study are (i) to use a social marketing survey approach to understand the gaps in perceptions between patients with type 2 diabetes and HCPs on diabetes-related topics such as levels of awareness, use and satisfaction with community resources, and perceived barriers to self-management and (ii) to present the results of a public awareness campaign/diabetes management demonstration project (Cities for Life) on change in discordant views between HCPs and patients. The study was conducted as a separate sample pre-post quasiexperimental design study as part of a clinical-community program, Cities for Life in Birmingham, AL. The surveys were administered before (Wave 1 or W1 in 2012) and after (Wave 2 or W2 in 2013) implementation of the Cities for Life program. HCPs (n = 50 and 48) and patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes (n = 201 and 204) responded to surveys at W1 and W2, respectively. At both timepoints, HCPs and patients identified diabetes as a major health priority and stated education and information as the most valuable aspects of community-based programs (CBPs). Although 86% of HCPs reported recommending CBPs for lifestyle modification and that their patients frequently participated in CBPs (W1 = 70%; W2 = 82%), fewer patients reported participation (W1 = 31%; W2 = 22%). Patients frequently were not able to name any CBPs for diabetes prevention or treatment (W1 = 45%; W2 = 59%) despite a large proportion perceiving CBPs as valuable (W1 = 41%; W2 = 39%). A substantial percentage of patients reported receiving "a lot of support" from family/friends/or coworkers (W1 = 54%; W2 = 64%; p < .05), but HCPs believed that a much lower proportion of their patients received "a lot of support" (W1 = 0%, W2 = 10%, p < .05). Patients and HCPs independently reported patients' lack of motivation as one of the main barriers to better diabetes care. HCPs and patients reported discordant views regarding two important aspects of diabetes self-management: the use of community resources and the degree of social suppor t received by patients. HCPs overestimated the patients' use of community resources, and underestimated the patients' degree of social support. Trans-disciplinary interventions to address patients' lack of motivation and to engage social support networks may improve communication and mutual understanding about the role and benefits of community resources in diabetes and other chronic disease self-management.
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    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Loskutova NY; Tsai AG; Callen E; Ajayi K; Carroll JK; Harrington M; Turner TJ; Pace WD
  • Start Page

  • 328
  • End Page

  • 340
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 3