Dogs helpful to control diabetes

Regular physical activity is now recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes, but there are many reasons why people find it difficult to exercise. A Scottish study has used qualitative methods to see how these barriers can be overcome.

Patients with a recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes were recruited from 16 general practices and three hospitals. Most patients were aged 60–69 and managed with diet and oral hypoglycaemic drugs.

The patients were interviewed three times during the first year. Twenty were re-interviewed four years later. 

Few patients attached much importance to exercise. Even though most of them knew exercise was good for health, they did not appreciate the benefits for blood glucose control.

For some patients, their physical activity was limited to daily activities. Walking was the only activity that had been sustained over the four years.

Having a dog encouraged regular