Position statement calls for prioritizing patients' experience in diabetes care

The Endocrine Society's recommendations are based on roundtable meetings with representatives from governmental and other organizations, patient advocacy groups, and professional societies, including ACP.

Changes are needed in diabetes care to help prioritize patients' experience and improve outcomes, according to a recent position statement from the Endocrine Society.

Patients' experiences have not been fully considered in efforts to implement recommended diabetes care in practice, the statement said. The Endocrine Society conducted roundtable meetings in February and May 2022 to recognize existing gaps in the management of diabetes and its complications, build consensus around a comprehensive approach to diabetes management that addresses these gaps, identify tools needed to help clinicians and patients address challenges, and evaluate the role of technology in improving disease management.

The roundtable included delegates from professional societies (including ACP), governmental organizations, patient advocacy groups, and others and was supported by educational grants to the Endocrine Society from Abbott, Medtronic, Novo Nordisk, and Vertex. The statement was published Feb. 21 by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Priority targets for considering patients' needs in diabetes are as follows, according to the statement:

  • Strive for effective communication during clinical interactions at diagnosis and throughout the disease course;
  • Address the emotional and psychosocial needs of patients with diabetes and their caregivers;
  • Ensure timely, accessible referrals to programs for diabetes self-management and education support for all patients with diabetes;
  • Effectively navigate available therapeutic options together and explain complex regimens to support medication-taking behavior;
  • Minimize therapeutic and clinical inertia;
  • Discuss strategies for hypoglycemia assessment and risk reduction;
  • Improve cardiovascular and renal outcomes using newer therapeutic options as clinically indicated;
  • Use telehealth in the appropriate clinical setting; and
  • Integrate technologies such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems into routine management.

The statement also features tables and figures with tools and examples, including nonpatient-centered versus patient-centered language, questions to ask to determine the need for additional psychosocial screening and telemedicine readiness, and a management road map to improve outcomes.

"To facilitate optimal implementation of currently recommended standards of diabetes care in real-world settings, it is critical that [clinicians] acknowledge the breadth of PWD's [people with diabetes'] experiences and use them to inform the management of diabetes and its complications," the statement concluded. "Continued adoption, dissemination, and development of practical tools that can facilitate delivery of patient-centered care are critically important to attain desired health outcomes for all PWD."