New consumer research from MyHealthTeams reveals patient priorities
SAN FRANCISCO — DECEMBER 10, 2019 — MyHealthTeams, creator of the largest and fastest-growing social networks for people facing chronic health conditions, today unveiled new research conducted among the more than 100,000 registered members of DiabetesTeam, the social network for people living with Type 2 Diabetes. A majority (59%) of those surveyed report they are either not satisfied or only somewhat satisfied with their current treatment. Yet when asked what they most want from their doctor, only 6% said “new treatments.” More than 7 times as many respondents prioritized wanting their endocrinologist to provide “more information” on recommended lifestyle changes (22%) and “listening and understanding” about the challenges of managing their diabetes (21%).
The issue is not a lack of understanding about the importance of lifestyle changes. The gap is in getting practical tips for successfully adopting lifestyle changes — especially in the context of dealing with the wide-ranging impact diabetes has on daily life. MyHealthTeams identified two key areas in which people living with diabetes know they want to improve – but aren’t sure what to do or how to start:
- Diet: 74% of those surveyed report they understand the importance of a healthy diet, but most do not know how to effectively change their eating habits. They want practical tips on foods to eat, recipes to try and grocery lists to follow. This is rarely offered in the doctor’s office.
- Exercise: 59% understand the importance of exercise, but 46% report their condition makes it hard to exercise and they’re not sure how to start. They want specific tips from their doctors on ways to start exercising, even while dealing with the pain and fatigue that often accompanies diabetes.
Quality of Life Impact
Beyond high blood sugar, people with Type 2 Diabetes report experiencing a wide range of symptoms of the disease in the past year, including:
- Fatigue (65%)
- Numbness (53%)
- Frequent Urination (52%)
- Itching (46%)
- Dry Feet (44%)
- Intense Thirst (38%)
- Neuropathy (31%)
The impact of diabetes on daily life is significant, with survey respondents reporting top challenges including:
- Hard to sleep at night (51%)
- Depression / anxiety (45%)
- Difficult to be sexually active (43%)
- Hard to do everyday chores (41%)
- Interferes with social life (33%)
“What’s clear is that managing blood sugar is just one piece of the diabetes puzzle, and people living with this condition are juggling a lot,” said Eric Peacock, cofounder and CEO of MyHealthTeams. “The call to action across the healthcare ecosystem is to empower consumers with information and support to act as their own health advocates within this context. People need practical advice and emotional empathy. It’s about much more than medicine.”
This research was conducted among the more than 100,000 registered members of DiabetesTeam. 478 individuals responded to the online survey. Full survey findings are available at https://www.diabetesteam.com/resources/the-results-are-in-what-people-with-type-2-diabetes-want-most-from-their-doctors-is-information-not-new-treatments.
MyHealthTeams believes that if you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, it should be easy to find and connect with others like you. MyHealthTeams creates social networks for people living with a chronic health condition. Millions of people have joined one of the company’s 34 highly engaged communities focusing on the following conditions: Crohn’s and colitis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, pulmonary hypertension, spondylitis, eczema, myeloma, hyperhidrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, leukemia, lymphoma, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, hemophilia, hidradenitis suppurative, depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, COPD, chronic pain, migraines, food allergies, obesity, HIV, PCOS, endometriosis, breast cancer and autism. MyHealthTeams’ social networks are available in 13 countries.