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Entitlement to rehabilitation measures: This is how diabetics get their rights
Almost seven million people in Germany are diabetic. Over 90 percent of those affected have type 2 diabetes. Many diabetics do not know that they have the right to rehabilitation. Health experts explain how those affected get their rights.
Many patients are overwhelmed
Almost seven million people in Germany suffer from diabetes mellitus, 90 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. Although the majority of diabetics can control the disease well without medication, many have to take medication or inject insulin, measure blood sugar and pay attention to their diet. Many patients are overwhelmed by the lifelong attention that the chronic illness requires from those affected. Some rehabilitation measures could help them, but many do not even know that people with diabetes mellitus have the option of accessing expert support in the form of a rehabilitation measure. Experts provide an overview of the most important facts.
Criteria that justify rehab
According to health experts, the focus in treating diabetes is on helping people to help themselves - those affected should be empowered to manage their disease in such a way that their quality of life is not impaired.
"However, if the metabolic setting is inadequate in the long term, the patient's ability to work and independence are at risk," explains Dr. med. Erhard Siegel of the German Diabetes Society (DDG) in a message.
Poor metabolic attitudes with an elevated HbA1c value, frequent hypoglycaemia in the past and work-related problems in dealing with the disease are among the three “hard” criteria that justify an urgent need for rehab.
"If there are already accompanying or subsequent diseases of the cardiovascular system or diabetes-related damage to the eyes, nerves or kidneys, the need is all the higher," says Stephan Ohlf from the board of the Federal Association of Clinical Diabetes Institutions e.V. (BVKD).
Other criteria that may justify a need for rehab include:
- high blood pressure
- Fat metabolism disorders
- Lack of exercise
- little knowledge of diabetes
- currently smokers
- present depression
- pathological stress
- unhealthy eating habits
According to the DDG, after acute treatment in a clinic, there is also the option of an accelerated application process as part of follow-up treatment (AHB).
"In this case, the application must be made by the acute hospital," explains Ohlf.
The head of administration of the Eleonoren Clinic of the German Pension Insurance in Hesse adds: "Every acute medical hospital treatment that is required due to the diabetes represents an AHB indication in itself."
The measure usually begins within 14 days of being released.
Scientifically proven therapeutic efficacy
The German pension insurance explains in the publication: "Rehabilitation therapy standards diabetes mellitus type 2" that rehabilitation measures can help those affected.
"The therapeutic effectiveness of rehabilitation in type 2 diabetes has been scientifically proven for the areas of exercise therapy, patient training, health education, nutritional therapy, psychological interventions and tobacco cessation at evidence level Ia or Ib," it says.
According to the experts, it corresponds to "the therapy recommendations of the National Care Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes".
The treating doctor as the first point of contact
In its communication, the DDG explains how the application process is carried out. According to the experts, the treating doctor is usually the first point of contact.
"He draws up an expert opinion, which among other things justifies the needs and prospects of rehab," says Siegel.
The doctor can forward the application to the responsible insurance provider. For working people this is the statutory pension insurance, for pensioners the health insurance.
"When choosing a clinic for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, patients can also bring in their personal wishes," explains Siegel.
Rehabilitation can be inpatient or outpatient
Rehabilitation lasts at least three weeks and can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. "A special feature of medical rehabilitation is the multidisciplinary therapeutic approach, treatment in a multidisciplinary team," says Siegel.
This means that doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, diabetes consultants, dieticians and social workers work together.
"In many clinics, other health problems such as the spine, hips or knees can also be treated," adds the DDG expert.
The second specialty is the intensity. "A rehabilitation measure gives enough time to train patients in detail even in difficult problem situations, to familiarize them with new medications, techniques or lifestyle changes," says Siegel.
Whether switching to pump therapy, exercise therapy, rapid weight loss, psychological support or clarifying diabetes-related professional problems - all of these aspects can be dealt with sustainably with qualified experts.
The website of the German Diabetes Association (DDG) provides an overview of clinics that focus on diabetes.
Simply enter "http://www.deutsche-diabetes-gesellschaft.de" and click on the menu item "Certified medical practices / clinics" and enter search criteria. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.