By now it is common knowledge that depression in patients with diabetes is associated with higher rates of difficulty in managing diabetes and has an impact on long-term health outcomes and costs. Our founder, Dr Paul Ciechanowski, just returned from the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego. It was gratifying to hear attendees buzzing about integrating behavioral and medical treatment, which is what Samepage enables in a highly streamlined and efficient way. The biggest news was that the ADA has developed a positioning statement underscoring the importance of evolving the treatment of diabetes to include identifying and supporting behavioral health challenges. A panel of researchers and practitioners who co-authored the 2016 ADA Psychosocial Position Statement presented at a couple of symposia to review the Position Statement and propose ways of building capacity in psychosocial care for people with diabetes.
Key points of the psychosocial statement:
- Psychosocial care should be integrated with collaborative, patient-centered medical care and provided to all people with diabetes, with the goals of optimizing health outcomes and health-related quality of life.
- Providers should consider an assessment of symptoms of diabetes distress, depression, anxiety, and disordered eating and of cognitive capacities using patient-appropriate standardized/validated tools at the initial visit, at periodic intervals, and when there is a change in disease, treatment, or life circumstance.
- Including caregivers and family members in this assessment is recommended.
- Consider monitoring patient performance of self-management behaviors as well as psychosocial factors impacting the person’s self-management.
- Consider assessment of life circumstances that can affect physical and psychological health outcomes and their incorporation into intervention strategies.
- Addressing psychosocial problems upon identification is recommended. If an intervention cannot be initiated during the visit when the problem is identified, a follow-up visit or referral to a qualified behavioral health care provider may be scheduled during that visit.
What this means to you:
In a nutshell, the Association recommends specific and comprehensive guidelines for psychosocial screening and assessments to support the care of people with diabetes. The recommendations propose that clinicians routinely screen patients with diabetes for psychosocial challenges, including mental health concerns, and that, when necessary, patients be referred to mental health providers with knowledge and experience in diabetes. However, as this screening becomes part of routine diabetes care, there are a limited number of mental health professionals with the knowledge and experience to provide diabetes-specific mental health care. That’s where solutions like Samepage can come in to help. Our method enables front line care managers with the tools and consultation they need to support patients with comorbid diabetes and depression (as well as other combinations of medical and behavioral conditions).
Click here learn more about the ADA’s efforts in this area.
Click here to learn more about how Samepage can help!