Approximately 1.7 million Australians are currently living with diabetes, a family of complex metabolic conditions, affecting people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. In addition to medical management, living successfully with diabetes requires attention to the behavioural, psychological and social aspects of the condition.
Diabetes MILES (Management and Impact for Long-term Empowerment and Success) Australia was a national survey of Australians living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of diabetes on the quality of life and psychosocial health and wellbeing of Australians living with the condition, and provide a baseline against which the results of future studies can be compared.
When it comes to the general health of people with diabetes:
* Adults with type 2 diabetes are more likely to indicate that their health has declined in the past year, as compared to adults with type 1 diabetes
* Adults with type 2 diabetes are also more likely than those with type 1 diabetes to report co-morbidities such as neuropathy, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and sexual dysfunction
When looking at the psychological and emotional wellbeing of people with diabetes:
* Adults with type 2 insulin-treated diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety than adults with type 1 diabetes or adults with type 2 diabetes who don't use insulin
* 35% of adults with type 2 insulin-treated diabetes experience moderate to severe depressive symptoms
* Adults with type 1 diabetes are more likely than those with type 2 diabetes to experience severe diabetes-related distress
* 28% of adults with type 1 diabetes experience severe distress
And what do people with diabetes have to say about the healthcare system?
* 49% of adults with diabetes have never been offered structured diabetes education. Of those that have received structured education, this is most likely to have occurred at or around the time of diagnosis.
* Half of adults with diabetes consider cost to be a barrier to healthcare
* Around half of adults with diabetes have not been asked what is important to them in managing their diabetes in the past three months
* Half had not received adequate information from their healthcare professionals in the past three months
The findings of this survey identify issues concerning self-management, quality of life, psychological well-being and unmet needs of adults with diabetes across Australia. The findings of the Diabetes MILES Australia 2011 survey provide a national snapshot of the quality of life and psychosocial well-being of Australian adults living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.