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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2006 Sep;32(3):275-86.

Diabetes management in patients receiving palliative care.

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Center for Palliative Care, St. Vincent's Health, University of Melbourne, St. Vincent's Health, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.


A literature review revealed no evidence-based guidelines specific to managing diabetes in the context of palliative care. The purpose of the current project was to describe the management practices of doctors and nurses caring for people with diabetes and advanced disease. Palliative care doctors, palliative care nurses, endocrinologists, and diabetes nurse educators participated in this study. A two-phase project was undertaken: 1) two focus groups, and 2) a cross-sectional survey using a self-completed questionnaire. The focus group and questionnaire data identified that doctors and nurses used a range of practices and blood glucose testing frequencies to control blood glucose based on experience and not according to a robust evidence base. Implications for practice include the importance of collaboration between diabetes and palliative care specialists, and the need to develop clinical management guidelines.

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