Diabetes care in rest homes in Christchurch, New Zealand
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AIM: To determine the prevalence and describe the management of known diabetes in a group of New Zealand rest homes. METHODS: A random sample of 54 rest homes in Christchurch were studied. Residents with known diabetes were identified by rest home staff and interviewed. Selected staff members of all rest homes were also interviewed using structured questionnaires. The medical and nursing records and laboratory results of all residents with known diabetes were reviewed and all information pertaining to diabetes management recorded. RESULTS: The prevalence of known diabetes in Christchurch rest homes was 11.7%. Residents with known diabetes had a mean of five other comorbidities and were prescribed a mean of 7.5 medications. Of residents with diabetes, 45% were taking oral glucose-lowering agents, 28% were on a diet alone and 27% on insulin treatment. The mean blood pressure was 134/73 mmHg. The mean HbA(1c) was 7.3%. Routine blood glucose monitoring was performed often but residents with possible hypoglycaemic episodes frequently did not have their blood glucose level checked. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of known diabetes in Christchurch rest homes is similar to that found in British studies but less than that found in studies from the USA. Indicators of quality of care in residents with diabetes in this study appeared to be satisfactory, in contrast to other studies. There was poor recognition by staff of the necessity of checking acutely blood glucose levels in residents with diabetes who became unwell.
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