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Australas Med J. 2012;5(11):575-80. doi: 10.4066/AMJ.2012.1411. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Diabetes management in Australian rural aged care facilities: A cross--sectional audit.

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1
Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Rural Health, Department of Rural and Indigenous Health, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is gap in the literature regarding the current practice of diabetes management of the elderly in Australia and its compliance with available Australian diabetes practice guidelines.

AIMS:

The aims of this study were to describe the pharmacological management of elderly residents with diabetes living in aged care facilities and to identify areas for improvement in the current management as recommended by the current diabetes management guidelines in Australia.

METHOD:

Residents with diabetes from three rural aged care facilities were identified by nursing staff. A cross-sectional medical record audit was carried out to obtain data of residents diagnosed with diabetes. Thirty-four medical records were audited from three aged care facilities.Data including demographics, medical histories and medications were collected and analysed.

RESULTS:

This study had two key findings; Firstly, it showed that about a third of residents with type 2 diabetes are managed with diet only. Secondly, of the residents who are managed with medications, less than half of those audited (41%) were managed according to the current diabetes guidelines in terms of pharmacological treatment which included anti- hypertensive, lipid lowering and anti- platelet therapies. Of those patients with a history of CVD, all were receiving an antihypertensive medication, 71% were not managed for their lipids and 20% were not on any prophylactic anti- platelet therapy.

CONCLUSION:

Management of patients with diabetes living in rural aged care facilities is inconsistent with the current management guidelines. Educational interventions targeting health professionals and patients might be beneficial to increase compliance with the current diabetes guidelines.

KEYWORDS:

Pharmacological management; Type 2 diabetes; aged care facilities; diabetes guidelines; elderly

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