Diabetes Coordination by NDs Shown to Improve Clinical OutcomesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Thomas Jansen
April 16, 2012
Multidisciplinary Approach to Health Care Can Improve Clinical Outcomes
Coordination of Diabetes Care by Naturopathic Physicians Shown to Aid Patients
While the Supreme Court debates the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care reform bill, it is becoming increasingly clear that our current system is unsustainable and does not have patients’ best interests in mind. Naturopathic medicine embodies the change that our country needs, emphasizing primary care and prevention and addressing the root causes of illnesses, rather than simply treating disease. To that end, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) recently collaborated with the Coalition for Patients' Rights, a national coalition that represents more than three million licensed and certified healthcare professionals, on an article that appears in the current issue of Health and Interprofessional Practice.
The commentary examines how health care providers from a variety of backgrounds can work together to provide quality care for diabetes patients. Naturopathic physicians are aptly suited to these situations through their training and philosophy, which emphasizes treating the whole person, rather than simply symptoms, educating patients and removing the barriers to self-healing, such as poor diet or unhealthy habits. The article cites two recent studies, which support the role of naturopathic medicine in Type 2 diabetes care, a disease that exemplifies the need for holistic care because of its far-reaching impact in the body. Naturopathic physicians are able to re-establish the foundation of health, while also recognizing the severity of the disease and the frequent need for multidisciplinary collaboration.
"In the past, interdisciplinary care teams were largely found in geriatric settings. Now we are seeing this patient-centered approach make its way into other care areas for one reason – it works," said Jan Towers, spokesperson for the Coalition for Patients' Rights. "Especially for patients with chronic health conditions, having multiple professionals collaborating together can mean the difference between an optimal outcome or a sub-par outcome."
The full article from Health and Interprofessional Practice, entitled “Collaborative Practice Benefits Patients: An Examination of Interprofessional Approaches to Diabetes Care,”is available online through the Coalition for Patients' Rights at http://www.patientsrightscoalition.org/doc/CollaborativePractice.pdf.
Naturopathic Medicine, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor is to “diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. May use physiological, psychological or mechanical methods. May also use natural medicines, prescription or legend drugs, foods, herbs, or other natural remedies.”Naturopathic doctors train at four-year, post-graduate naturopathic medical schools that are accredited by an agency of the United States Department of Education. Sixteen states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands regulate naturopathic medicine. Learn more at naturopathic.org.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a professional association that strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine.