NEW YORK — Community-based healthcare models, and the nurse practitioners who work within them, are particularly helpful in assisting diabetes patients with such underlying health conditions as depression, according to a recent study published on Nurse.com.
The findings are from a study conducted by Kathleen Falk, nursing professor at New York City College of Technology. Falk, the chairwoman of the "Adult Day Health Council Research Collaborative Diabetes Management Study," observed 104 participants from 10 adult day healthcare centers in the state of New York.
"In a hospital, the nurses do everything for people living with diabetes," Falk was quoted as saying. "But when such clients go home, they can become overwhelmed with the complexity of their own care. Self-management involves needles, medications, insulin, blood sugar checks, dietary changes and many follow-up appointments. Many people can't handle that, especially those who are depressed."
Falk noted, according to the report, that nurses working in the centers were particularly helpful in the study's care model, and are judicious in identifying symptoms of depression, which is the first step in effective treatment.
Falk used data from A1C blood tests, blood pressure screenings and cholesterol screenings as a reference point, and led a team of other nurse case managers, dietitians, physical therapists, social workers and endocrinologists. The team established individual care plans for survey participants and provided podiatry, dental and eye exams, the report stated.
At least 60% of patients, including those with cognitive impairment or depression, showed a statistically significant decrease in A1C levels at each three-month assessment point, the report stated. About 25% worsened.