Diabetes is a very important disease because it can cause many complications. The objective of diabetes treatment is keeping the quality of life of the person high and preventing progress of long term complications. As a diabetic patient, it is possible to live a healthy and problem free life for long years. However, long-term high blood sugar can cause eye, kidney, nerve and foot problems in some people. In patients with diabetes, the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure is increased.
It is estimated that there are more than 7 million diabetics in Turkiye. Approximately 55% of all diabetic patients are diagnosed (3,9 million people). 91% of all individuals (3,5 million people) diagnosed with diabetes are treated. 50% of the diagnosed diabetes patients reach their treatment goals and only 11% of the total diabetic patients reach a targeted treatment outcome, leading to an uncomplicated life.
The research shows that in Turkiye; while only 28% of people with diabetes have participated in any educational program for diabetes, 19% are depressed, 59% are suffering from distress originated from diabetes and 28% are under social discrimination due to diabetes.
Researches among relatives of the people with diabetes have shown that: 36% of the relatives think that the diabetes disease is a burden for the family, 62% of family members had serious sadness and distress due to their relatives with diabetes and 50% of them had no idea how to support their relatives with diabetes. While 15% of their relatives indicated that they were educated about diabetes, 77% of the educated people stated that these trainings were useful.
On April 5, 2016, the Patient and Relatives Empowerment Program was started due to Struggling With Chronic Diseases Cooperation Protocol, signed between the Turkiye Ministry of Health and our Association. The Diabetes Project which is the first section of this program aims to provide patients and their relatives to become primary responsible for effective management of the disease with a patient-centered approach.
As one of the important outputs of the project, improving patients’ and relatives’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors and making them take an active role in the fight against disease will be an important milestone in strengthening patients about developments in the health sector in our country.
The project will be cooperated with 10 family physicians from 5 Public Health Centers that will be selected as pilot areas and 50 diabetes patients will be trained in Diabetes Patient Empowerment Program. As a result of this training, patients participating in the program will train 10.000 diabetic patients.
Nicolucci A, et al., Research: Educational and Psychological Issues Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs second study (DAWN2TM): Cross-national benchmarking of diabetes-related psychosocial outcomes for people with diabetes, Diabetic Medicine, UK, 2013, p.767-777. http://www.dawnstudy.com/content/dam/Dawnstudy/AFFILIATE/www-dawnstudy-com/Home/DAWN2/Documents/dme12245.pdf (Access date: Nov 5, 2014)