Welcome to this site focusing on depression as a co-morbidity of diabetes. Several studies have shown that depression in people with diabetes can be a barrier to effective disease management, and the chances of becoming depressed increases as diabetes complications worsen. What this guide hopes to accomplish is to provide information, insights, and tools to help state health department personnel initiate program activities designed to: increase public and professional awareness about this co-morbidity; foster the importance of early detection and diagnosis, and stimulate patient visits to appropriate sources of counseling and care.
This guide is the initiative of the Women’s Health Council (WHC), a Council under the auspices of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD). Support for the development and implementation of the guide was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Diabetes Translation. In recent years, the WHC has been reviewing the impact of depression on a range of chronic diseases. The Council decided that launching an educational initiative on the impact of depression on all chronic diseases would be overwhelming. It decided to focus on diabetes because of an emerging interest on the part of several members of the diabetes community who believe this is a problem urgently needing to be addressed.
The resource guide was selected because of the previous experience the WHC had with a similar guide in the area of osteoporosis prevention, detection, and control. That guide, along with other educational tools and initiatives, were evaluated and found by state health department professionals to be very helpful in launching osteoporosis educational programs.
The feedback we received from a survey of state Women’s Health Coordinators and from a focus group comprised of representatives from state Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs prior to the development of the guide, urged us to make the resource guide easy to access, easy to use, and kept up-to-date. It was pointed out that the discrete parts of the guide should be easy to find without having to search the entire web site.
After this “Welcome,” there are four sections to the guide:
- Understanding the Problem
- The Reference Library
- Develop Program Activity, and
- Establishing Evaluation Measures
Understanding the Problem provides the statistical base for giving this co-morbidity the priority it has not received in the past. Data showing those at risk include women and minorities, particularly African Americans, who should receive particular attention. Organizations active in depression and/or diabetes activities are listed as additional sources of insight and understanding.
The Reference Library will provide summaries of relevant peer reviewed studies appearing in the literature as well as articles appearing in the medical and lay press. Web site addresses for each will be listed so readers can easily access full reports. This section will also list position papers and guidelines that can be accessed via respective Web sites. Various screening tools will also be identified and described along with internet addresses.
Developing Program Activity is a “how to” section which, on the basis of feedback from users of the earlier osteoporosis resource guide, may represent one of the more popular and frequently used parts of this resource guide as well. How to form and maintain coalitions as a means of maximizing program impact will include several easy-to-access sites describing the formation and management of such partnerships. Suggestions in bringing women’s health, diabetes, and mental health professionals together in a program integration approach are provided, including a summary of a conference on the subject sponsored by CDC and the NACDD. Examples of forming partnerships with employers are also described, and a number of sources providing insights and tips for working with the media are included.
Establishing Evaluation Measures is the last section and it provides guidelines on how to measure and document the impact your program efforts are having or not having. Sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation convey the value of evaluation and provide step by step guidance for implementing varied types of measures.
The fact that this resource guide is Web-based provides several advantages over printed resource guides. For one, it can be periodically updated. Two, it can be altered to better reflect user input and the results of user assessments.
Users of the guide are encouraged to submit items they feel are worth incorporating and inform us about what you feel is most and least useful. You can contact us by emailing thoughts and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.