Thiruvananthpuram, Aug 3 IANS | 5 months ago

A study conducted among diabetic patients in Kerala who are also smokers has found that enhancing knowledge among them about risks of developing severe complications if they continue tobacco use leads to significantly higher quit rates.

Speaking to IANS, G.K. Mini, who headed the study, said they decided to conduct the research on diabetic smokers because if they don't stop smoking now, they could end up losing their feet.

Kerala has one of the highest rates of adult type 2 diabetes in rural South Asia (21 percent) and has a smoking rate above India's national average.

"We split our study group into two. In one group, we got them attached to a medical doctor who spoke to them and the second group of diabetic smokers did not only see the doctor but also were given counselling by a non-doctor medical counsellor," said Mini.

"When we compared the quit rates between the two groups after six months, the positive change in knowledge in group 2 was two times higher than that in group 1. The odds of quitting among patients who reported a positive change in knowledge was 2.65 times higher compared to those who reported no positive change in knowledge," she added.

Mini carried out the study, along with Mark Nichter and K.R. Thankappan, under the Quit Tobacco India Project of the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies.

She said the medical professionals, due to time constraints, were unable to speak at length to the patients but a session by a trained and certified counsellor through techniques using the "5 As" (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange), an assessment of stages of readiness to quit or the "5 R"s (Relevance, Risks, Rewards, Roadblocks, Repetition) appeared to have been beneficial and hence the quit rates jumped.

(Posted on 03-08-2014)

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