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News / January 30, 2014

Coaching improves diabetics

by Guy Hiscott

Researchers have helped a large group of diabetics improve their oral health through motivational health coaching.

A study of participants with type II diabetes were offered health coaching; accordingly, periodontitis was reduced by half over a six-month period.

The study split 186 participants into two groups: one group was offered motivational health coaching and the other was given more traditional methods of health information, such as brochures.

Long-term blood sugar levels were significantly reduced in the group offered motivational health coaching over three months, falling from 7.5% to 6.9%. Figures showed no change for the group offered traditional health information.

Lone Schou, head of global oral health promotion at the University of Copenhagen, commented on the findings: ‘Ineffective health communication due to a lack of creativity results in massive and costly problems for society.

‘The patients we are in contact with are often both socially and financially vulnerable, and for them health coaching and follow-up can make a considerable and marked difference, both to their physical and mental health.’

Lone adds that dishing out a brochure to patients with diabetes and thinking that will do it does not work and is a costly approach for society.

The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, published in Clinical Oral Investigations.

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