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Type 2 diabetes: Patients reporting better quality of communication by their physician show improved self-care

INGELHEIM, Germany & INDIANAPOLIS, US - Monday, June 8th 2015 [ME NewsWire]

    ‘Encouraging’ and ‘collaborative’ physician communication is linked to better patient outcomes
    New IntroDia™ Survey patient data are presented at American Diabetes Association’s® (ADA) 75th Scientific Sessions
    IntroDia™ is an initiative of Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- New research shows that the quality of patient-physician communication, at the moment when additional oral type 2 diabetes (T2D) medication is prescribed (‘add-on’), is linked to future patient self-care and well-being. Data from the IntroDia™ Survey have quantitatively demonstrated this link in the largest international survey of its kind, using responses from 4,235 people with T2D across 26 countries.*

The perceived quality of the ‘add-on’ conversation by patients was linked to all self-management outcomes surveyed. Patients who recalled better quality of communication when interacting with their physicians reported improved self-care and emotional well-being, including improved diabetes-related emotional distress, frequency of exercise and diet, as well as better medication adherence.

Dr Matthew Capehorn, UK, GP and member of the IntroDia™ Advisory Panel commented, “If not framed properly, the introduction of additional oral medication for type 2 diabetes management can be a challenging moment for patients. An encouraging conversation with a physician can make a real difference to subsequent self-management. We now have data that confirm how important the quality of communication is during this ‘add-on’ conversation.”

Analysis of the conversations indicated patients distinguish three types of physician statements that contribute to communication quality: ‘encouraging’, ‘collaborative’ and ‘discouraging’. When physicians used ‘encouraging’ and ‘collaborative’ statements, patients’ perception of the communication quality significantly improved. Using ‘discouraging’ statements had the opposite effect.

‘Encouraging’ communication included statements such as:

    “My doctor explained that the new medication would help to control my diabetes.”
    “My doctor told me that the new medication would improve my quality of life.”

‘Collaborative’ communication examples were:

    “My doctor invited me to ask questions about my new medication.”
    “My doctor helped to adjust my treatment plan so I could do it in my daily life.”

‘Discouraging’ communication included statements like:

    “My doctor told me that my diabetes is out of control.”
    “My doctor told me that I needed more medication because I had failed to take good enough care of myself.”

The analysis also looked into which statements were most frequently recalled by patients from their ‘add-on’ conversations. ‘Encouraging’ statements were recalled by up to 85 percent of patients. ‘Discouraging’ statements were recalled by up to 53 percent of patients.

“The patient data demonstrate that physicians are already doing a good job, by most often using ‘encouraging’ and ‘collaborative’ statements and using ‘discouraging’ statements less frequently. However, ‘add-on’ conversations can still be further improved to help patients make the positive behavioural changes required to manage type 2 diabetes,” concluded Dr Capehorn.

*4,235 people with T2D, out of the total 10,319 included in the IntroDia™ Survey, met the necessary criteria to be asked about ‘add-on’ moment conversations. All 10,319 survey participants were asked about their early ‘diagnosis’ conversations.

About IntroDia™

IntroDia™ is the largest multi-national survey to date investigating early conversations between physicians and people with T2D. It includes insights from 6,753 physicians and 10,139 people with T2D from 26 countries. The survey focuses on two potentially pivotal time points in T2D management: diagnosis and the ‘add-on’ moment, when additional oral medication is introduced. Data evaluation is ongoing and further insights will be announced throughout 2015 and 2016. The IntroDia™ Survey’s physician insights, coupled with upcoming patient findings, will be used to develop solutions that help shape the early T2D conversations and ultimately improve quality of care.

IntroDia™ is an initiative of Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation. It has been developed in collaboration with an international, multidisciplinary Advisory Board of T2D experts from the field of primary care, endocrinology, behavioural psychology, nursing and diabetes education including: Ms. Anne Belton, Canada; Dr. William Polonsky, USA; Dr. Steven Edelman, USA; Dr. Matthew S Capehorn, UK and Ms. Susan Down, UK, Professor Aus Al Zaid, Saudi Arabia.

Survey Design

The IntroDia™ Survey used a combination of validated assessment tools and new research approaches to assess quality of care and identify key elements of physician-patient communication. It was conducted by online questionnaire and with telephone and personal interviews if required.

The data in this release are from the responses of 4,235 people with T2D from 26 countries who were asked about their experiences during ‘add-on’ conversations, including what their physician said or did. Patients’ perception of the quality of physician communication was assessed through a series of questions including: “Did the doctor explain things in a way you could understand?” and “Did the doctor show respect for what you had to say?”

Intended audiences

This press release is issued from Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Headquarters in Ingelheim, Germany and is intended to provide information about our global business. Please be aware that information relating to the approval status and labels of approved products may vary from country to country, and a country-specific press release on this topic may have been issued in the countries where Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company do business.


Please click on the link below for ‘Notes to Editors’ and ‘References’:


Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

Dr Petra Kienle

Product Communication Manager


Phone: +49 6132 77 143877


Lilly Diabetes

Molly McCully

Communications Manager


Phone: +1 (317) 478 5423






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