Managing diabetes mellitus and dementia: a nursing overview
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Managing diabetes mellitus and dementia: a nursing overview

Florence Sharkey Lecturer in nursing, School of Nursing and Paramedic Science, Faculty of Life and Health Science, Ulster University, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Vivien Coates Professor of nursing practice research, School of Nursing and Paramedic Science, Faculty of Life and Health Science, Ulster University, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the challenges of managing diabetes mellitus alongside dementia

  • To learn about the importance of sharing patient information among healthcare professionals in various settings

  • To consider how the use of IT might promote more effective communication between specialties

Background Managing diabetes mellitus alongside the onset and development of dementia poses many challenges for those living with these conditions as well as their families, carers and service providers.

Aim To describe nurses’ positive experiences when managing adults with diabetes and dementia, as well as the issues and challenges.

Method Qualitative, semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with community and diabetes specialist nurses drawn from five health and social care trusts.

Findings Four themes were identified: whose responsibility is it?; community and diabetes specialist nurses – the pivot point; education to manage comorbidities; and interprofessional communication.

Conclusion Community and diabetes specialist nurses experience many challenges when supporting individuals living with diabetes and dementia. Sharing patient information among practitioners in different settings is critically important. IT could overcome the limitations of note-keeping ‘silos’, but further education is recommended to establish more effective communication and partnership working.

Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2024.e1819

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@FloSharkey

Correspondence

f.sharkey@ulster.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Sharkey F, Coates V (2024) Managing diabetes mellitus and dementia: a nursing overview. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2024.e1819

Acknowledgements

The work was supported by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland (grant number COM/5537/19) and the Florence Nightingale Foundation, England, as part of a research intern scholarship

Published online: 10 January 2024

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