Dual treatment for diabetes and depression works better

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People treated for both Type 2 diabetes and depression improve better than treating either issue alone. Patients being treated for both achieve better medication compliance and significantly improve blood sugar and depression levels when compared to patients receiving usual care.

More than 60% of the test group who received integrated care combined with a brief period of intervention to assist with adherence to prescribed medications had improved blood sugar levels and as many as 58% had reduced depressive symptoms.

The link between diabetes and depression goes both ways. Depression is a risk factor for diabetes. Diabetes also increases the risk for depression. Depression can also contribute to poor adherence to prescription treatments which negatively impacts treatment.

“Though research demonstrates the link between depression and diabetes, few integrated programs are being implemented in practice,” said lead author Hillary Bogner, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor Family Medicine and Community Health in the Perelman School of Medicine. “Or results demonstrate that integrated treatment for both conditions, combined with a brief program focused on adherence for primary care patients with Type 2 diabetes and depression can result in a significant improvement in clinical outcomes. We hope the findings will encourage the adoption of adherence programs aimed at improving outcomes.”

Integrated care managers were able to introduce individualized programs aimed at improving adherence to depression and diabetes medications. Through use of electronic monitors attached to pill bottles, researchers were able to track the use of the medications over a 12-week period. Of those on the integrated approach 60% stuck with the program. Only 35% of the group receiving usual primary care benefited as much.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Annals of Family Medicine

 
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