Role of self-care in management of diabetes mellitus


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic progressive metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia mainly due to absolute (Type 1 DM) or relative (Type 2 DM) deficiency of insulin hormone. World Health Organization estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have DM. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without any intervention. The needs of diabetic patients are not only limited to adequate glycemic control but also correspond with preventing complications; disability limitation and rehabilitation. There are seven essential self-care behaviors in people with diabetes which predict good outcomes namely healthy eating, being physically active, monitoring of blood sugar, compliant with medications, good problem-solving skills, healthy coping skills and risk-reduction behaviors. All these seven behaviors have been found to be positively correlated with good glycemic control, reduction of complications and improvement in quality of life. Individuals with diabetes have been shown to make a dramatic impact on the progression and development of their disease by participating in their own care. Despite this fact, compliance or adherence to these activities has been found to be low, especially when looking at long-term changes. Though multiple demographic, socio-economic and social support factors can be considered as positive contributors in facilitating self-care activities in diabetic patients, role of clinicians in promoting self-care is vital and has to be emphasized. Realizing the multi-faceted nature of the problem, a systematic, multi-pronged and an integrated approach is required for promoting self-care practices among diabetic patients to avert any long-term complications.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava.

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There was no conflict of interest to be stated.

Authors’ contributions

SRS wrote the first draft of the article and performed intensive review of literature. PSS edited the article continuously. JR read and approved the final manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Shrivastava, S.R., Shrivastava, P.S. & Ramasamy, J. Role of self-care in management of diabetes mellitus. J Diabetes Metab Disord 12, 14 (2013).

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  • Diabetes
  • Self-care
  • Compliance
  • Physical activity
  • Lifestyle modification