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What’s Important to Your Patient?

Jul 19, 2016

Male, 26 years of age, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension. Strong family history of type 2 diabetes with complications. Has been a patient since diagnosed 2 years ago. Has met with dietitian. Hasn’t made dietary changes, increased activity, or taken meds prescribed to lower his glucose. A1C 9.2% and rising every 3 months. He would also miss many of his appointments. Stated, “Nothing is going to bother me. Maybe it did my family, but that was a different time and it’s not going to happen to me. I’m going to go on enjoying my life.” I could have talked with him more about preventing blindness, amputations, heart disease, etc., but I’m not sure he relates to that at this time in his life. He does have an active sex life. I discussed his increased risk for erectile dysfunction due to him not taking care of his diabetes. That caught his attention. That meant something to him. He started to change his ways. He stopped missing appointments, made some lifestyle changes, which included taking his medications and monitoring his glucose. 6 months later his A1C was 6.6%, glucose, lipids and blood pressure in his target range, and losing weight.

Lessons Learned:

  • Meet your patients where they are.
  • Find out what is important to your patients and use what’s important to them to help motivate them.
  • Always individualize a patient’s diabetes care plan and your discussion with him or her.


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