Diabetes patients need convincing of benefits of lifestyle changes

Questionnaires sent to 112 patients with diabetes across 24 GP surgeries reveal a reluctance to improve lifestyle, as well as a lack of understanding about HbA1c levels. 

A blood glucose test being carried out

Many patients with diabetes do not achieve optimal HbA1c levels, the primary measure of glycaemic control, which increases their risk of complications.

To explore the factors that impede good diabetes control, a team of researchers sent questionnaires to patients at 24 GP surgeries.

Among the 112 respondents, self-reported medication adherence was high at 83%. However, findings from focus groups involving 11 patients in total showed they were reluctant to make lifestyle changes and saw medication adherence as a way to avoid doing so.

The team also found that although 61% of the 112 patients knew their HbA1c level, it generally meant little to them.

Reporting in the British Journal of General Practice
(online, 11 October 2016), the researchers suggest that increased funding for lifestyle change services and better explanation of HbA1c could help improve patients’ diabetes control. 


[1] Elliott AJ, Harris F & Laird SG. Patients’ beliefs on the impediments to good diabetes control: a mixed methods study of patients in general practice. Br J Gen Pract 2016: doi: 10.3399/bjgp16X687589.

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, November 2016, Vol 8, No 11;8(11):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201884

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