Next up in the news for every nurse is a look at what we do to help manage the increasing numbers of diabetes patients we see out there in our patient population. There is a recent study on the effectiveness of our interventions for specific diabetes patients and what works best for men and women. There was a 13-year study into type 2 diabetes patients focusing on their care following up to their diagnosis. This care included regular interventions like helping with setting individual goals for each patient and checking back to re-evaluate progress and set new goals.

Diabetes Interventions Benefit Women More

diabetes-blood-sugar-testInterestingly the follow-up interventions seemed to only benefit women in the study and not the men. The women’s risk of diabetes-related death decreased along with rates of stroke and overall mortality. Men showed no significant improvement in the study, although they didn’t get worse.

The researchers pose the reason for the differences are related to different complex social and cultural issues around gender. What this means in the real world is that it will probably defy explanation in the short term. I think that it calls upon nurses, who are the primary diabetes educators out there to work to be more creative and study possible interventions that work better for men than what we’ve been using to date.

Nursing Research Opportunities

This is also an excellent opportunity for us to do some nursing research to back up our care and educational choices. If women are motivated best by what we are doing now, is there something that will help the men we aren’t seeing. Should we separate the diabetes education classes by gender and teach them differently? What if we have men teach the men, and women teach the women? Would this change the dynamic and improve outcomes for the men in similar ways it has for women?

These are questions that nurses are uniquely suited to asking in some high-quality nursing research. I urge you to consider these things when you interact with your male diabetes patients. I’ll continue to look for other research and articles on the topic and report them here on the Nursing Show.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis for Nurses and Episode 375.

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