1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

Article Content

Today, the most recent fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) reveals that 7% of Americans-almost 21 million people-have diabetes. And according to an article in the September issue of Diabetes Care, that number is expected to more than double by 2050, with more than 48 million people living with diabetes.


Research shows that tight glycemic control obtained through exercise, diet, and medication can help considerably with reducing complications. However, people with diabetes often have or will develop comorbid conditions, especially hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease. For these patients in particular, managing medication and treatment regimens can be overwhelming.


To identify ways in which nurses can help patients manage their diabetes better, AJN, along with the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Professional Development, convened nurses and other diabetes experts in Philadelphia on September 15 and 16 to explore the science on how to support behavioral change. The 50 nurses, dieticians, researchers, practitioners, and educators represented all clinical settings, government policy groups, advocacy groups, and insurance payors; several participants who have diabetes provided valuable insight with their personal perspectives. Participants spent a day and a half listening to highlights of papers reflecting the state of the science on factors influencing diabetes self-management, the new technologies that may effect diabetes management, and how to get clinicians to adopt new practices. Participants worked in groups to identify areas in which more research is needed, to describe barriers to self-management, and to devise strategies for overcoming those barriers. Financial support was provided by the ADA and several pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott Diabetes Care, Novo Nordisk, Roche Diabetes Care, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, BD Medical Diabetes Care, and Amylin-Lilly. AJN will publish the full report in May 2007.

Figure. Linda Simine... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Linda Siminerio from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center facilitating a small-group work session.
Figure. Dawn Heffern... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Dawn Heffernan from Holyoke Health Center (Holyoke, Massachusetts) and Gary Welch from Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, Massachusetts) during small-group discussions on September 16. Photos courtesy of Maureen Shawn Kennedy
Figure. Discussing p... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Discussing priorities for research are (from left) Robin Whittemore from the Yale University School of Nursing (New Haven, Connecticut), Kit Chesla from the University of California, San Francisco, Linda Haas from the Veterans Administration Health Care System in Seattle, Malinda Peeples from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, Maryland) and past president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and Ann Albright from the University of California, San Francisco, and president-elect of Health Care and Education, American Diabetes Association.

Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN