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Individuals with diabetes rely on blood testing to make sure their insulin and blood sugar levels are within normal ranges. However, when diabetics also have depression, as many do, they are less likely to take these steps to manage their blood sugar properly.
In order to address this problem, a team of researchers is recommending that diabetes and depression be treated in a comprehensive, integrated manner. Their study, which was published in the Annals of Family Medicine, shows that this may significantly improve treatment outcomes.
For the study, researchers gave a group of diabetics access to a program that addressed their physical symptoms in a context that recognized their cultural and social needs. Results showed that these individuals were more likely to take their medications, had better control of their blood sugar levels and exhibited fewer depressive symptoms.
Given the high prevalence of depression among diabetes, the findings could have important implications. Many individuals may benefit from this type of integrative treatment. The researchers pointed out that it may be accessible to a high number of patients, as it only required a total of two extra hours of treatment per patient.
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