Few With Diabetes Risk See Need for Lifestyle Counseling

Perceived need for counseling doesn't translate into actual counseling attendance

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes do not perceive the need for lifestyle counseling, and even among those who see the need for counseling, less than half actually attend lifestyle interventions, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Diabetes Care.

Sanna M. Salmela, of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and colleagues analyzed baseline and intervention data from 10,149 participants in the Finnish National Diabetes Prevention Project.

The researchers found that only 36 percent of at-risk men and 52 percent of at-risk women perceived the need for lifestyle counseling. Most diabetes risk factors did not increase the perceived need for counseling. Only among women was perceived need associated with actual attendance in the lifestyle intervention. Of those individuals who perceived the need for counseling, 35 percent refused to participate; among those who agreed to participate in supervised lifestyle intervention within public health care, about 70 percent showed up at least once.

"Altogether, preventing diabetes would seem to require action from policy makers in all sectors and at all levels, not just from the health care system," the authors write. "Finding additional means to support lifestyle change processes will be very important."

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