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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2000 September;41(3):175-84

language: Italian

Manyfold aspects of the adolescent adaptation to diabetics and biomedico-psycho-social approach

Gentili P., Burla F., Zavoianni M., Maldonato A.


The presence of about 90.000 patients in Italy brings about the need for an in-depth analysis of the psycho-social implications of such a prevalence of diabetes. It appears in the early period of life and then becomes chronic, forcing young people to deal with specific therapies, all life long. Diabetics have to manage the difficult task of adapting their normal life perspectives with a self image that is severely disturbed by the disease. Therefore the relationship with one's self, the doctor, the family and the social environment becomes extremely important. The disease and other related factors can strongly alter both the psychological and physical development in the adolescent; a bio-psycho-social approach is therefore needed. Daily management is very complex, involving changes in food intake habits and in physical activities, and requiring insulinic therapy and the monitoring of glycemic levels. Taking care of the diabetics should be associated with an educational process for the patients and their family. Also an effective cooperation with the medical staff could determine a real improvement in the overall results of the treatment.

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