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Addressing Barriers to Behavioral Change in Diabetes Care

William Polonsky, PhD, offers an overview of some of the typical problems clinicians and patients can encounter when implementing behavior change as part of diabetes care. For instance, Dr. Polonsky said many clinicians may push patients into making changes before they are ready or before they are even convinced that they will help with diabetes management. The concept of foreplay, or taking the time to make sure that the patient is comfortable with and fully aware of why they are making these lifestyle changes or starting medications, is important. Additionally, Dr. Polonsky noted that clinicians like himself tend to focus on the major problems standing in the way of behavior change, including depression or eating disorders. However, patients often neglect their care or do not follow through with changes because the "mundane" things can get in the way. Focusing on these smaller issues can therefore be helpful, he said.
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