A systematic review, co-authored by Professor Nicky Britten, has been included in a NIHR themed review, which brings together research on type 2 diabetes care.
The review aims to give a short account of completed and ongoing NIHR-funded studies on type 2 diabetes and how they have informed practice.
Over the last ten years, the NIHR has funded a number of programmes, projects, research centres, work streams and researchers working in diabetes prevention, management and care. Yet, evidence from these different studies has not been brought together before.
The systematic review - a qualitative synthesis of diabetes self-management strategies for long term medical outcomes and quality of life in the UK, concluded that patients felt that having a sense of ownership was very important for self-management strategies to be sustainable in the long term.
Further, it showed that patients need a sense of having a stake in the management of their diabetes, which is appropriate for their beliefs and perceptions, as well as timely information and support, and an overall sense of empowerment in relation to other aspects of their life. This enables participants to develop flexible diabetes management strategies that facilitate quality of life and long term medical outcomes.
Professor Britten said of the study’s inclusion in the review:
"We are delighted that our qualitative research has been included in the NIHR review and that it adds to our understanding of what is important to people with type 2 diabetes. We had originally also set out to examine the stability, strength and direction of the long-term quantitative associations between biomedical markers and quality of life, but found insufficient primary research to reach firm conclusions. The scarcity of relevant papers suggests that future long term observational research is needed to address major concerns of people with type 2 diabetes who have to manage this condition over long periods of time."
Type 2 diabetes affects around 2.8 million people in England and is one of the most significant public health challenges of our time. An estimated 22,000 premature deaths a year in England are attributed to the disease, with an estimated 10% of total NHS spending going on treating and managing it. The number of people affected is increasing year-on-year, with the single most important modifiable risk factor being overweight or obese.
The themed review, called ‘On the Level’, can be viewed at the NIHR Dissemination Centre - the PenCLAHRC project is listed as number 40.