Trial shows 'high tech' approaches help reduce diabetes-related complications

April 5, 2013, Monash University

As global rates of diabetes escalate, a new computerised self-care system for people with Type 2 diabetes has been shown to significantly improve diabetes control and mental health-related quality of life, according to a global health expert.

Professor Brian Oldenburg, Head of the and Society Unit at Monash University, said the Australian TLC Diabetes program was a high tech system providing follow-up and support that enables people to self-manage their chronic diabetic condition.

It is estimated that 40 per cent of people with diabetes have poor glycaemic () control, significantly increasing their risk of costly and debilitating diabetes-related complications.

Professor Oldenburg said on average a person with diabetes spent about six hours a year in the doctor's office or with other , and 8,760 hours on their own monitoring blood sugar, taking insulin and other medications and managing diet, physical activity and stress.

"Living with diabetes and managing all of the required self-care is very stressful. Many people struggle to maintain a routine that is optimum for their health," Professor Oldenburg said.

"We know that with chronic conditions like diabetes there is a lot of evidence of increased risk of depression and anxiety. People experiencing significant levels of distress will often have poor self-management of their diabetes.

"We have found that as people gain greater control using the TLC system, their also increases. Additionally, it is a means of screening people who could benefit from the intervention of a health psychologist."

The Australian TLC Diabetes program is an automated and interactive, 24 hour telephone system designed to provide 'virtual' telephone encounters between people with diabetes and health professionals. It uses new technology to send participants' results from a mobile phone to the computerised telephone system, and provides feedback on the results. It also gives feedback and advice on diet, medications and daily exercise to assist in the control of diabetes.

The trial showed the TLC program led to improvements in diabetes management, with significant benefits to mental health functioning and improved glycaemia control. Maintained long term, such results could be expected to lead to important reductions in diabetes complications and mortality.

"We need to urgently develop new ways of helping individuals to more effectively self-manage their chronic conditions," Professor Oldenburg said.

"We are currently investigating ways of scaling up the Australian TLC Diabetes system to make it available to many thousands of Australians with diabetes. We also want to develop similar programs for other so that people can access these 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

An estimated 1 million Australians already have diabetes and worldwide there are almost 400 million people with diabetes.

Explore further: Study to examine impact of diabetes on life quality

Related Stories

Study to examine impact of diabetes on life quality

July 12, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- People living with Type 2 Diabetes are being recruited for a national online survey to understand how it affects their quality of life.

Poor health-related function, diabetes combo ups death risk

March 30, 2012
(HealthDay) -- The combination of type 2 diabetes and impaired health-related functioning (HRF) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study published online March 23 ...

Diabetes: Tighter control of blood sugar prevents nerve condition, but at what risk?

June 12, 2012
Aggressive control of blood sugar levels in diabetes can help to prevent a painful condition affecting patients' nerves, according to a new systematic review in the Cochrane Library. However, the review suggests that optimal ...

Make a plan to prevent diabetes, complications

November 3, 2011
In observance of National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, the National Institutes of Health urges people to set goals and make plans to prevent diabetes and diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes may significantly increase your risk of dementia

September 19, 2011
People with diabetes appear to be at a significantly increased risk of developing dementia, according to a study published in the September 20, 2011, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of ...

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Thirty-year study shows women who breastfeed for six months or more reduce their diabetes risk

January 16, 2018
In a long-term national study, breastfeeding for six months or longer cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes nearly in half for women throughout their childbearing years, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.