Diabetes is one of the major health care problems in India with an estimated 66.8 million people suffering from the condition, representing the largest number of any country in the world. It is a challenging disease to manage successfully. Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder and patient compliance with the interventions suggested by doctors plays a very important role in well-controlled diabetes. Non-adherence to treatment regimens is one of the most common problems among patients with diabetes that can lead to complications.
An in-app survey was conducted on the ‘WhiteCoats’ app to measure doctors’ perception of diabetes patients’ compliance with the recommended treatment and medication regimens. The survey comprised of 6 different questions and registered responses of a total of 129 doctors between 24th November 2018 and 5th January 2019.
When reviewed, the adherence pattern of diabetes medication and treatment based on the survey responses, doctors attributed most of their diagnosis (60.97%) to the presenting symptoms and the least (7.31%) upon screening. It was further observed that only one-third of their patients followed up with them as suggested.
When inquired about the adherence to suggested lifestyle modification, investigations, and medications, it was found that only 20% of the patients strictly made lifestyle and dietary changes as suggested by the doctor, while the remaining were not consistent in doing so. 43.13% of the patients were observed to monitor required investigations regularly.
The survey stated that more than half of the patients were compliant with recommended medications, contributing to 53.33%. It was further noted that only one-third of the patients (37.5%) were consistent in carrying out investigations for diabetes-related complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, etc.
Self-management plays an important role in managing chronic illnesses like Diabetes. To optimize their health, patients with diabetes are often advised regarding diet and exercise, frequent medical examinations, annual specialized examinations of their eyes and feet, and, for many, prescribed multiple oral or injected medications every day. Until there is a cure for diabetes, these behaviours must be sustained for a lifetime. It’s very crucial that patients make themselves aware and educated about the disease, its complication, and the importance of compliance.
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