Doing what really counts: A new myCompass module for people living with diabetes.

Doing what really counts: A new myCompass module for people living with diabetes.

Sliding quietly onto the myCompass program this week – a new module designed specifically for people with diabetes. The module was developed and piloted with the help of RACGP Foundation/Diabetes Australia 2013 Research Grant.  Focussing on life balance and based on principles of cognitive behaviour therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, the module presents strategies for maintaining equilibrium in the face of the life changing disorder.

We know that many people with diabetes experience distress related to their disorder at the time of diagnosis and at many times subsequently.  People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to experience depression than the general population.  Psychological distress leads to poor diabetes management and consequent physical complications.  Diabetes management is difficult and time consuming and the management of psychological issues is not always prioritised.

This module offers an opportunity for patients to help themselves when the demands of the disease become overwhelming. It follows the pattern of other modules in the myCompass program, being divided into three short sessions with interactive elements and tasks to be completed between sessions. Users find the exercises engaging and thought provoking and can move smoothly from the module to all the other useful modules in the program if they wish. The myCompass automated smart phone based reminder system is flexible enough to allow diabetes specific reminders to be included.

While the module was developed for people with diabetes it is not so focussed on diabetes that someone struggling with life-balance issues in the absence of diabetes would not benefit from using it. I’m hoping the title won’t stop people without diabetes from using and benefitting from it! Have a look at 

Dr Jan Orman

Jan is Sydney GP, private psychological medicine practitioner in Sydney’s inner west and a GP educator for Black Dog Institute.

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