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Given the readings from this week, how would you approach working with a patient that has prediabetes? What types of interventions would you implement? How would you partner with them in creating their goals? What types of obstacles might you face? How would you ideally work with the healthcare team?


Clara Hoodes
Nov 27, 2020 at 12:16 PM
According to Taylor (2018), diabetes is considered a common chronic illness affecting over 9 % of the U.S. population. Health complications associated with diabetes can be life-threatening and also costly with costs in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (as cited by Taylor, 2018) (CDC) totaling $245 billion annually. Health complications associated with diabetes include blindness, stroke, kidney failure, circulatory complications, and nerve damage. Interestingly, type II or non-insulin dependent (Taylor, 2018, p. 279) is becoming more prevalent affecting adults as well as adolescents and children, also becoming harder to treat as the disease is found to progress at a more rapid pace. Health implications associated with diabetes can include heart disease as waste builds up in the patients blood as a result of the thickening of the artery. Diabetes is also found to have psychosocial effects such as psychological distress and cognitive impairment such as to the patients memory. According to Taylor (2018), psychosocial factors found to be involved in the development of diabetes can include those relating to lifestyle, personality such as low conscientiousness, and depression.

Regarding interventions, management of diabetes can require that patients make lifestyle changes in areas of diet and physical activity. Having the necessary information about glucose utilization/metabolic control is also important in cases where the individual does not have, for example, access to this kind of information. Cognitive-behavioral interventions are found to be effective for improving patients adherence to their regimens including monitoring of blood sugar levels and self-care among type II diabetics (Taylor, 2018).

According to Johnson and Marrero (2016), the biomedical model might not be the most appropriate model or approach for working with patients as it fails to consider, for example, contextual issues that are very much related such as social and economic factors, and also prevention. Where more recent models of care such as ecological models focus on preventative aspects more so than older models.

According to the CDC (as cited by Johnson & Marrero, 2016), prediabetes is an important condition affecting millions of people in the U.S. to consider in relation to prevention and the development of type II diabetes. Research shows that behavioral interventions can be an effective technique for lowering patients risk of developing type II diabetes at the prediabetic stage, however, where some physicians do not have the training necessary for implementation. Johnson and Marrero (2016) explain that the role of the psychologist is important in view of this lack of expertise where psychologists are needed to help provide this kind of expertise among health care teams and also in areas of research, and with communities on the basis of patient-centered integrated care.


Johnson, S.B., & Marrero, D. (2016). Innovations in healthcare delivery and policy: Implications for the role of the psychologist in preventing and treating diabetes. American Psychologist, 71(7), 628-637. doi:10.1037/a0040439

Taylor, S. (2018). Health psychology (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

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