Risk of Sudden and dangerous fall of blood sugar or Hypoglycemia significantly reduced with self-management education and support in diabetes, finds a new study. The systematic review has reported that diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) positively affected hypoglycemia outcomes such as the number of events and reported symptoms.
It is quite usual to encounter incidents of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in diabetics especially the ones on insulin. Hypoglycemia, an acute and potentially lethal complication of diabetes, arises when blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL. A well-executed and person-centred DSMES program can address the individual’s needs, concerns and preferences as they incorporate and sustain diabetes-related treatment and lifestyle changes into their daily lives. DSMES normally includes risk mitigation strategies so individuals can identify when their blood sugar might be going too low so that management strategies can be implemented in time to prevent detrimental outcomes.
A new systematic review of evidence published in the August 2019 issue of The Diabetes Educator shows the impact of diabetes education in reducing hypoglycemia events and/or symptoms. The majority of studies within the systematic review, Diabetes Education Impact on Hypoglycemia Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Evidence and Gaps in the Literature, reported that diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) positively affected hypoglycemia or low blood sugar episode outcomes such as the number of events and reported symptoms.
“Being informed is certainly a critical component of hypoglycemic risk mitigation, but the evidence in this review demonstrated that interventions that include DSMES have had an impact on the number and severity of symptoms and events in people with diabetes,” said the project’s methods lead and corresponding author Jan Kavookjian, MBA, Ph.D., FAPhA. “However, the study also revealed that standardized definitions and measures are needed in future research to better compare and understand risk mitigation interventions across studies.”
Participants in the studies retained in the systematic review ranged from age 18 to older adults recruited from outpatient and acute care settings. Among the 14 studies retained, 8 identified significant reductions in hypoglycemia risk outcomes. Additional results demonstrated the importance of family involvement for those with type 2 diabetes. Other measured outcomes positively impacted in retained studies included blood glucose levels, knowledge and attitudes, and quality of life.