Psychology in Diabetes Care

By Frank J. Snoek; T. Chas Skinner | Go to book overview

Preface to the Second Edition

The appreciation of psychological issues related to the prevention and management of diabetes mellitus has gained increasing attention in recent decades, from both health psychologists and diabetologists. Diabetes is a complex medical condition, largely self-managed by the patient. It is now well recognized that ‘the best of both worlds’ is needed to address adequately the needs of people living with diabetes. A bio-psychosocial care model is warranted, incorporating the medical, social and psychological dimensions of this highly prevalent chronic condition. A cure for diabetes seems still a long way ahead, but the acute and long-term consequences of the disease can be significantly influenced by competent self-management, medical treatment and psychosocial support. Not surprisingly, we are witnessing a rapid increase in publications on psychosocial research in the field of diabetes. Epidemiological and clinical studies in youths and adults with diabetes bring forward new understandings of behavioural issues, critical for optimizing diabetes management. Modern medical technology alone can not solve the “diabetes problem”. Education and psychosocial care, empowering patients in their efforts to self-manage their diabetes and address psychological barriers, are key to achieve satisfactory medical and psychosocial outcomes.

State-of-the-art diabetes care builds on psychological and behavioural principles, not for only those patients with psychological disorders, but for all persons living and coping with diabetes. This handbook aims to be a reference and source of inspiration with respect to psychology in diabetes care for all professionals in the field.

Since the first edition of Psychology in Diabetes Care saw the light, in 2000, new developments have taken place in the psychosocial diabetes arena. We are seeing more and more well-designed psychological intervention studies in diabetes. These are, by definition, complex and can be conducted only within a collaborative framework, characterized by multidisciplinary teamwork typical for high quality diabetes care. Of note is also the involvement of psychologists in the development of clinical guidelines for diabetes care at the national and the international level, underscoring the appreciation of psychosocial issues in diabetes management by all stakeholders, i.e. diabetes health care providers, patient associations and professional organisations. The next challenge will be to see these guidelines being implemented in real life. There is still much work to

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