July 14, 2015

UAB doctor contributes to new Web resource for diabetes education

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Monika M. Safford, M.D., helped shape the new Web tool for the National Diabetes Education Program, “Promoting Medication Adherence in Diabetes.”

diabetes deviceThe National Diabetes Education Program at the National Institutes of Health has released the Promoting Medication Adherence in Diabetes, a compilation of resources and research articles on the Web to support health care professionals in promoting medication-taking behavior among their patients and within their teams.

Monika M. Safford, M.D., UAB School of Medicine professor of medicine, assistant dean of Continuing Medical Education and member of UAB’s Comprehensive Diabetes Center,participated in the NDEP’s Medication Adherence Task Group this past year to review and compile resources for the NDEP’s Promoting Medication Adherence in Diabetes Web resource.

“Medication adherence is an important topic for health care professionals and patients,” Safford said. “This resource will help health care professionals work collaboratively with their patients and teams to improve medication-taking behavior.”

As the World Health Organization reports, an average of 50 percent of medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed, leading to worse outcomes for patients and health systems. Achieving optimal medication-taking behavior is a collaborative process of communication and understanding between the health care team and patient, and this new resource can help improve that process.

“Medication non-adherence in diabetes has particularly serious consequences, increasing risks for stroke, heart attack, dialysis, amputation and blindness,” Safford said. “All of these risks have been shown by the highest-quality scientific evidence to be reduced through the regular use of medications prescribed by the doctor. Alabamians with diabetes are at particularly high risk if they do not take their medicines.”

The UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center serves as one of the nation’s foremost contributors to cutting-edge diabetes research, comprehensive education and training, and provides state-of-the-art clinical care to patients. UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center members like Safford are conducting cutting-edge research into the causes and mechanisms of diabetes, working on novel disease-altering therapies, training future generations of diabetes researchers and clinicians and providing the highest quality innovative care to diabetes patients.

Promoting Medication Adherence in Diabetes contains practical resources for health care professionals to share with their patients, such as handouts, videos, presentations, training guides and assessment tools. The resource also includes a section on scientific evidence related to medication adherence, and features journal articles for health care professionals and researchers. To learn more, visit the National Diabetes Education Program website.

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