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Health Care Professionals Role in Support

Support plays a significant role in the health and well being of adolescents with diabetes. The perceived support of physicians, nurses, parents and friends has an influence on the adherence to self- care among adolescents. It has been proven that health care professionals have a significant positive influence on those who struggle with the demands of diabetes. Clinicians actively collaborate with the client in order to identify and overcome barriers relating to self-care (Wolpert & Anderson, 2001). Moreover, the client that feels respected by acknowledgment of their concerns is more likely to take better care of his/herself. �Young people should be looked upon as individuals, as adolescents who do not simply have diabetes but who are also passing through a particularly critical period in their lives� (Kyngas & Hentinen, 1995, p. 735).

Nurses in particular appear to have a significant influence on adolescents and their adherence to health regimens. �If patients solely select their own priorities for learning about and managing diabetes, their care could be compromised by knowledge deficits� ( Colagiuri, Colagiuri & Naidu, 1995 as cited in McDonald, Tilley & Havstad, 1999, p.426). Nurses identify that patients do not fully understand the complications that can occur from poorly controlled diabetes �until long after diagnosis, or when the first signs of vascular complications occur� (Ternulf-Nyhlin, 1990 as cited in McDonald et al. 1999, p. 429). Complications of diabetes take many years to surface and by then may be irreversible. Identifying that patients may lack knowledge regarding long term complications, nurses also identify that they too lack knowledge. They identify the ongoing need of education for nurses in helping patients manage their diabetes more effectively.

Kyngas, H., & Hentinen, M. (1995). Meaning attached to compliance with self-care, and coalitions for compliance among young diabetics. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 21, 729-736.

Kyngas, H., & Rissanen, M. (2001). Support as a crucial predictor of good compliance of adolescents with a chronic disease. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 10, 767- 775.

McDonald, P.E., Tilley, B.C., & Havstad, S.L., (1999). Nurses� perceptions: issues that arise in caring for patients with diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30 (2), 425-430.

Wolpert, H.A., & Anderson, B.J. (2001). Young adults with diabetes: Need for a new treatment paradigm. Diabetes Care, 24, 1513-1514.

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