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Health professionals' perceptions of the seriousness of diabetes
journal contributionposted on 1999-07-01, 00:00 authored by Patricia Dunning, M Martin
A cross-sectional survey was undertaken to ascertain if health professionals rate the severity of NIDDM according to the treatment mode and to establish the reasons for their severity rating. A total of 421 responses were obtained. Most (70%), rated diabetes a serious disease, but there were significant differences in severity rating between the treatment modes, 69% rated insulin treatment serious, compared with 16% rating diet treatment serious (p < 0.05). There was a trend for severity to be seen to increase along a continuum from mild (diet), moderate (tablets), to serious (insulin). IDDM was considered to be more serious than NIDDM unless insulin was required. There were significant differences between health professional groups in their severity ratings. Older respondents were more likely to rate diet-treated diabetes serious (p < 0.05). There was a trend, which failed to reach significance, for those with family members with diabetes to rate diabetes serious regardless of the treatment mode. Health professionals believe diet-treated diabetes is mild.