Model to help diabetics fight depression

Patients suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are more prone to depression.
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

NEW DELHI:  Patients suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are more prone to depression which can be resolved using a ‘collaborative care model’, found a study conducted by the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.

The study named INDEPENDENT (Integrating Depression and Diabetes Treatment), which has been published in JAMA and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) was carried out in 400 patients with diabetes and moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms attending four diverse diabetes clinics in India and were observed over two years.

The patients were divided into two groups and compared an integrated collaborative care model with usual care and found that a collaborative model improves depressive symptoms and cardiovascular health for people with diabetes faster and more effectively.

Professor Nikhil Tandon, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, who lead the study at AIIMS, New Delhi said that diabetes has a negative impact on the ability of the patient and their care-givers (medical and family) to manage the disease and also on the quality of life, making it imperative to provide integrated care for mental health issues in patients with NCDs.

“This study used an innovative strategy, wherein nonphysician health care providers help coordinate care between the diabetes management team and the mental health professionals, leveraging technology. The technology component combined an electronic case record form with a decision support software (which provided algorithm-based recommendations for the management of glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and depression),” added Dr Tandon.

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