Quality of Life of Younger Diabetics Can Be Aided With Occupational Therapy

A new study from the University of Southern California finds that occupational therapy can significantly improve the quality of life of diabetic young people. The researchers believe that occupational therapy can help build healthier habits and routines that are beneficial to those with diabetes.

The study included both English and Spanish-speaking young adults aged 18 to 30 with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. An occupational Resiliant, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes (REAL) program was included as the study's focus. Those involved in the REAL program had focus on lifestyle-related activities interventions to improve habits and goals for diabetics.

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This particular program is focused on low-income young adults and the study took place among those of that demographic in Los Angeles County.

The findings show that those who completed the REAL program significantly improved blood glucose levels.

The improvement in blood glucose level averages coincided with diabetes-related quality of life and habits for the diabetics in the study. The randomized control group showed no such improvement.

The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care and is the first occupational therapy clinical trial to appear in the literature. The study was lead by Dr. Elizabeth Pyatak, assistant professor at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Pyatak developed the REAL intervention program.

“Occupational therapists are the experts of choice when it comes to the intersection of everyday activities, lifestyle and better management of chronic diseases,” said Pyatak, who is both a researcher and occupational therapist.

“The REAL Diabetes study validates our distinct contributions on every diabetes care team and shows the real differences that occupational therapy can make in the lives of the 30 million Americans who have diabetes.”

Source: Psychcentral.com

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