Theme: Education for Diabetes Self-management
Speaker: Guest Professor Shiu Tak Ying, Advisor of the Association of Hong Kong Diabetes Nurses Limited
Date: 12 November 2012
Professor Shiu indicated that there is a continuous increase in the number of diabetes patients including younger ones in recent years. In view of this, to promote the education of self-management to diabetes patients is exceptionally important for easing the growingly severe problem of diabetes. Professor Shiu summarized four types of self-efficacy that diabetes patients have to possess, including medical knowledge on diabetes, life skills to negotiate care, ability to adapt to role changes and ability to manage negative emotions. In addition to the above internal efficacy, Professor Shiu added that the support and motivation given by family and health professionals are also crucial for the self-management of patients.
To facilitate an effective self-management, Professor Shiu introduced a model that is appropriate to tackle chronic diseases and its name is “empowerment model”. “Empower” means to assist patients in enhancing their innate ability to manage the disease and encourage them to be the main carer of their health. Therefore, compared with the traditional model, “empowerment model” is more appropriate for guiding the education of diabetes self-management. To implement the “empowerment model”, health professionals should serve as facilitators to encourage diabetes patients to take the initiative to express their thoughts and difficulties about managing the disease, listen to their needs patiently, and care about their situations from the psychosocial aspect. Moreover, a two-way communication should be built by means of role play, modelling, group discussion and one-to-one counselling, etc. through which the health professionals and patients work together to discuss the achievable ways of managing the disease.