The Balancing Act

The value of empathy in evoking change has been validated by research in Motivational Interviewing but it also impacts clinical outcomes, as Megan Muñoz, RN, MSN, CMSRN, CDCES a master's level nurse, explains in her course, Medication: The Missing Link in Weight Neutral Diabetes Care.

Client-centered approaches are essential, and when it comes to medication, it seems most of us aren't confident about how to bring the client into the conversation. To fix this deficit, Muñoz created a handout called The Balancing Act. "I wanted to create an interactive tool you can use with clients showing diabetes management doesn't happen in a bubble." The handout explains that as humans, we are always trying to balance life, work, health with a limited number of resources.

The handout depicts a person holding a large plate, and on one side are different sized balls that represent diet, exercise, and medication. On the other side, the size of these balls changes, showing that over time we need to change the balance.

"Take the current pandemic, for example. It may limit access to exercise for those who rely on gyms or classes, which means food and medicine need to play a bigger role in regulating the blood sugars. However, many clients may not connect the impact of this pandemic to diabetes, and, thus, feel a sense of failure or fear around needing changes to their diabetes plan."

This handout is simple, and it depicts the social determinants of health without focusing on weight, weight loss, or body shame.

"I have found that focusing on competing priorities to diabetes can help clients set realistic expectations for themselves. The research has found that a nonjudgmental approach can pull clients into action." If you are a professional who would like to learn more about diabetes medication join Megan as she explains why, when, and how diabetes care plans change in the Medication: The Missing Piece in Weight Neutral Diabetes Care professional course.