New study reveals lack of trust in healthcare providers puts diabetics’ health at risk
NEW YORK Diabetics who are less inclined to seek help with managing their condition are at increased risk of premature death, a new study found.
Researchers led by Paul Ciechanowski, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, examined 3,535 adult patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes enrolled as Group Health Cooperative patients in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. Because depression has been linked to premature death from diabetes, patients with depression were not included to avoid confounding the study results.
The patients completed a relationship questionnaire. Based on the results of this survey, patients were divided into two groups: those with an interactive style and those with an independent style in relating to people. Individuals with an interactive style find it easy to get close to others and rely on them, and in turn are dependable for others. Those with an independent style tend to be either dismissive or fearful of close relationships. Some people with this style would like emotional closeness, but find it hard to trust or depend on others. Others can be indifferent to close relationships, preferring instead to be free and self-reliant. These classifications, the researchers found, determined whether or not the study subjects’ lives were cut short by their lack of trust of healthcare providers.
During the course of the most recent study, diabetes patients who were mistrustful of people, including healthcare providers, had a 33% higher mortality rate than those who interacted easily with others and sought comfort and support. The researchers found the significantly higher risk of death among diabetes patients who were less likely to seek support still held after controlling for other such potential risk factors for mortality as age, marital status, other medical conditions, complications of diabetes and body mass index.
Ciechanowski noted that the results of the study also depends on how healthcare providers approach their patients is crucial to patients’ adherence and willingness to discuss their concerns.
"Prior studies have shown that lower support seeking is associated with poorer adherence to treatment," Ciechanowski said. "As clinicians, we have to keep in mind that what we say and how we say it can make a big difference in trust between clinician and patient — which has implications for treatment adherence and health outcomes. Bedside manner matters. Also, as stewards of health care, we have to be mindful about what our fast-paced healthcare system says to patients to engender trust or not. Long waits, less face-to-face time with providers, rashly delivered health information, and lack of continuous care can reduce trust — particularly in those with an independent relationship style."
Retail Clinician special report focuses on patient-centered care
NEW YORK Drug Store News’ sister publication, Retail Clinician, has issued a special report on an exclusive study conducted by Take Care Health Systems in conjunction with Gallup Consulting that measured patient engagement levels among Take Care Clinic visitors, with an eye toward elevating the patient experience.
The report, which is anchored by the original white paper — written by Sharon Glave Frazee, Ph.D., VP corporate healthcare analytics and research team for Walgreens, along with John H. Fleming, Ph.D., principal, chief scientist customer engagement and humansigma®, Gallup, and Margaret Ozan Rafferty, R.N., M.H.A., M.B.A., healthcare global practice leader for Gallup — and also includes an interview with Take Care CEO Peter Miller discussing the significance of the findings and what it means both for Walgreens and Take Care, and the impact Take Care’s unusually high levels of patient engagement is having on clinic traffic.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
High doses of cholesterol drug may raise muscle injury risk, FDA warns
SILVER SPRING, Md. Patients taking a common drug for treating high cholesterol may be at increased risk of muscle injury, the Food and Drug Administration warned Friday.
The FDA warned patients and healthcare professionals of the risk of muscle injury, also known as myopathy, in patients taking simvastatin in the 80-mg strength. Though muscle injury is a side effect common among all statins, the agency said patients taking higher doses of simvastatin run a higher risk. Of particular concern is the risk of rhabdomyolysis, a severe form of myopathy that can lead to kidney damage, kidney failure and sometimes death.
Merck originally marketed simvastatin under the brand name Zocor, and it is now available as a generic from several suppliers. It’s also an active ingredient in several other cholesterol-lowering drugs, including the Merck’s Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) and Simcor (niacin and simvastatin), marketed by Abbott and Solvay Pharmaceuticals. All formulations of Simcor contain only 20 mg of simvastatin, though Vytorin is available with 80 mg, according to an FDA database.
“Review of simvastatin is part of an ongoing FDA effort to evaluate the risk of statin-associated muscle injury and to provide that information to the public as it becomes available,” FDA Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products deputy director Eric Colman said in a statement. “It’s important for patients and healthcare professionals to consider all the potential risks and known benefits of any drug before deciding on any one therapy or dose of therapy.”