Two-Thirds of Healthcare Professionals Polled Attribute Improved Patient Self-Management to the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map(R) Program

Thursday, June 5, 2008 General News
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 4 New research shows 65 percent ofparticipating healthcare professionals resoundingly said they can attributeimproved patient self-management to the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map(R)Program. The survey findings were announced on the eve of the AmericanDiabetes Association's 68th Annual Scientific Sessions (June 6-10) by HealthyInteractions, a global leader in health education (Booth 735). The survey wasdesigned to obtain feedback on the efficacy of the Conversation Map program asa patient engagement tool and its impact on diabetes self-management since itwas launched one year ago.

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A keystone of diabetes care is self-management education, and structurededucation programs are a fundamental component of enabling people to do thismore effectively. The U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map program is a radicallynew way to facilitate Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) amongpatients.

Since its inception last June, the demand and use by healthcareprofessionals of the Conversation Map program has been so strong that HealthyInteractions realized its three-year goal of training 10,000 healthcareprofessionals in just 10 months. Additionally, the program now meets theAmerican Diabetes Association recognition criteria for a complete DSMEcurriculum.

The U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map tools were developed by HealthyInteractions in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association, and thedevelopment, training of healthcare professionals, and distribution of thetools are sponsored by Merck. The Conversation Map tools create adiscovery-learning experience that uses the power of dialogue and personalexchange. Through this method, individuals realize key facts about diabetes,key beliefs or attitudes coloring their perception of the disease and waysthey can change behavior and improve their management of their diabetes.

Four out of 10 healthcare professionals responding to the survey saidparticipation in a Conversation Map session, which inspires personal healthchange via dynamic conversation-based group discussion rather than a one-waylecture, is in their opinion the most effective method in helping patients toadopt positive behaviors and achieve good outcomes, compared to the 12 percentwho cited traditional education sessions as most effective in this goal.

While diabetes self-management is essential to achieving successfulhealth-related outcomes, challenges abound. When Certified Diabetes Educators,Registered Dietitians, Registered Nurses and other healthcare professionalswere asked what they believe is the biggest challenge for diabetes patients tomanage their disease, more than half (52 percent) cited the issue of fullyunderstanding the lifestyle changes they have to make; that was followed bymoderating their diet (17 percent) and not having the right information(15 percent). These are important topics addressed by the Conversation Mapprogram.

The healthcare professionals responding to the survey strongly approve ofthe Conversation Map program's ability to transform the way they educatepatients. In response to how Conversation Map tools have helped them, anoverwhelming 80 percent of healthcare professionals who responded saidConversation Map tools make group facilitation more interactive and engaging.Additionally, 63 percent of respondents attribute an increase in patients'interest in diabetes education and a boost in their willingness to learn(53 percent) to the unique education approach. Forty-three percent ofrespondents said the Conversation Map method stimulates discussion and peerinteraction.

When asked to comment about their overall experience using theConversation Map tools, healthcare professionals offered the followingremarks:

"The Conversation Map method of education delivery provides an excellentforum for

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