Adults with type 2 diabetes who follow individually tailored self-management programs are better able to lower their blood pressure and weight and maintain them over time than adult diabetes patients who don’t, say Dutch researchers.
Scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands conducted a three-month study of 196 adults between 50 and 70 years old who had been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Nine months after the three-month study had concluded, they found that patients who followed an active self-management program were enjoying a net reduction in body mass index of 0.39, compared with non-participants, whose body mass index had increased 0.38.
Researchers randomly assigned the course to participants, requiring them to attend two one-hour individual sessions and four two-hour group sessions led by a trained nurse. Participants learned about diet, exercise, goal setting and medications. Non-participants continued to take medications, but received no training or sessions.
The study concluded that a self-managed program that helps people with type 2 diabetes set realistic goals for diet and exercise can be a valuable accompaniment to medications and medical care.