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Exploring Occupational Therapy’s Role in Diabetes: An Experiential Internship

1 January 2016


One quarter of adults aged 65 years or older in the United States have diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2016). Associated complications, including neuropathy, vision loss, and foot damage can be difficult for individuals with diabetes to manage. Additionally, self-cares, particularly medication management, are more complex for an individual with diabetes. Research supports the use of self-management education and a multidisciplinary team approach to manage diabetes and its comorbidities. In this advocacy project, an occupational therapy doctoral student intern explored occupational therapy’s role on the diabetes management team at a large medical center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following a needs assessment, the student intern worked with members of the multidisciplinary team to develop necessary resources and advocate for occupational therapy’s increased role in diabetes care within this facility. Feedback from involved parties indicates that occupational therapy has a unique and valued role in diabetes management.


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