'Train nurses and GPs to give CBT in type-2 diabetes'

Nurses and GPs should be trained to deliver psychological therapies shown to help people struggling to cope with type-2 diabetes, according to University of Warwick researchers.

Photograph: Jim Varney
Photograph: Jim Varney

Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) have been shown to help people with type-2 diabetes to control blood glucose. However, a shortage of psychological therapists means access is severely limited.

Researchers reviewed 35 trials exploring the clinical and psychological effects of offering type-2 diabetes patients psychological interventions.

In half of the trials the therapies were delivered by psychological therapists and the other half were given by trained general health professionals including GPs and nurses.

The review revealed that blood glucose levels were reduced to the same degree whoever was delivering the therapy. The team concluded psychological therapies could be delivered by nurses and GPs to improve access.

Coventry GP Dr Kumkum Misra, who was trained to pilot offering psychological therapies, said: ‘It generally not only improves the doctor-patient relationship but also helps the doctor to build the confidence of the patient to take more responsibility for caring for their problem.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Would you like to be trained to give CBT?

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