Within the framework of the SCUBY project, the Slovenian team already carried out focus groups with people with chronic diseases, and health care teams in the Community Health Centre Ljubljana, Health Centre Lendava and Health Centre Gornja Radgona. Here’s what emerged from our first meetings.
In the majority of Slovenian primary care providers, the healthcare team includes doctor, practice nurse, registered nurse and community nurse. The team also cooperates with the prevention team in the Centres for Health promotion. We emphasized the importance of capturing vulnerable people that are older than 65 and/or having multi-morbidity. The discussions were moderated by the open-up questions; the main topics discussed in focus groups were part of the integrated care package: identification of people with the disease, primary care treatment, health education, self-management support and collaboration between caregivers.
Participants were happy to be involved in the discussion and able to express their views about type 2 diabetes and/or arterial hypertension health care and consented to take the pictures with us. From the first reading of date, we realized that elderly people are vulnerable and it is difficult for them to live with diabetes. They usually change their lifestyle following the disease identification. The majority of them are active members in Slovenian Diabetes Association and in The Slovenian Heart Foundation; those associations offer them many activities and the possibility to share experiences. More awareness, promotion and more assistance in the community could be ways to improve self-management strategies.
Regardless of what we have heard from healthcare team, we can conclude that patients usually do not take those two diseases serious enough since its silent course with the complications of the uncontrolled disease seen only late in course of the disease. They agree that elderly are a vulnerable group of population; apart that, they exposed socio-economic status of patients and some professions as a vulnerable groups as well. Caregivers, social workers, local community could be added to the existing care. The main obstacle that needs to be overcome for the expansion lies in the current process of work, because of the current work amount, duplication of work and too much administration work.