Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Helping each other can really help you

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (October 19, 2010 vol. 153 no. 8 507-515) found that setting up peer support brought about significant improvements in health outcomes of diabetics. While the study was of 250 men in the U.S. Veterans Affairs health system who had poor diabetic control it really applies to anyone and any condition. Patients were randomized either to usual care with nurse management or to be paired up with another age-matched patient for mutual support. The patient pairs were encouraged to communicate regularly using a phone system that prompted weekly calls. After 6 months' follow-up, there was a significant improvement in the patient-pair group, versus a significant decline the nurse-care group. One continued to get worse under normal management while the other improved.

At a personal level I know of a lot of people working on reducing diabetes symptoms using the book by Gabriel Cousens “there is a cure for diabetes” and the ones having the most success are those who have extra support. It may be a family member, partner or just a friend. We also completed a study some years ago on personal coaching to improve health outcomes and found a significant improvement in health behaviour just as a result of one quick phone call or personal communication each week from the health coach. A little bit of help can make a lot of difference.

What does this mean for you? If you are interested in changing your health behaviour for the better get some regular support. Set your goals, link up with a few friends and set regular times to talk about what you are doing. Just a phone call each week may make the world of difference.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dr. Dingle,

    I was wondering if you had done any additional research on indoor air quality. I have read your letter to Health-Mor and currently I am employed by them as well. I have both the Majestic and the Defender in my home, and I have noticed a huge difference in my asthma, as well as my general health too! Is there any insight you can provide to potential owners of the Filterqueen system?