Regent’s Professor studies patient perspectives on diabetes and COVID-19

Research into managing COVID-19 and Type 2 (T2DM) diabetes has been published by Regent’s Professor Joanne Lusher in the European Medical Journal (EMJ).  

Diabetes is one of the most significant illnesses associated with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. Recent statistics have identified that up to half of all individuals with COVID-19 have had diabetes.  

The paper, entitled ‘How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Let’s Hear the Patient’s Voice’, studies the patient’s perspective to understand the difficulties, complexities, and effects of Type 2 diabetes on self-management and coping during a pandemic. 

According to the study, over 90% of people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus are overweight or obese, and obesity itself increases the severity of COVID-19 and the risk of needing intensive care and ventilation. However, diabetic patients with careful glycaemic control are at lower risks of illness if they become infected with COVID-19. It is, therefore, essential that research focuses on effective ways to manage Type 2 diabetes mellitus during the pandemic.  

The research finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has permitted Type 2 diabetes patients to take ownership over their condition to a greater extent than may have been the case pre-COVID-19. Considering that patient self-management is key to effective glycaemic control, it is suggested that healthcare professionals call on T2DM patients for advice. Placing the patients and their families at the forefront when it comes to deciding the best strategies for diabetes self- management is the way forward. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals should aim to implement this learning as quickly as possible.  

Read the full paper here.