Challenges and improvement needs in the care of patients with central diabetes insipidus
Teare H., Argente J., Dattani M., Leger J., Maghnie M., Sherlock M., Ali GC., Francombe J., Marjanovic S.
Central diabetes insipidus (CDI) is a rare condition, with significant impact on patient health and well-being. It is a chronic condition which usually requires meticulous long-term care. It can affect both children and adults. There is limited literature considering the needs and challenges inherent in providing high quality care to patients with CDI, across the care pathway. This paper seeks to address this gap by providing a unique and well-rounded understanding of clinical and healthcare systems-related challenges. It draws on insights from the literature, from direct clinical experience contributed by five clinicians as co-authors (providing insights from France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), and from patient perspectives provided through interviews with patient representatives from three patient organisations. We identify clinical challenges related to the diagnosis of CDI, including differentiating between other similar conditions and determining the underlying aetiology. Treatment is challenging, given the need to tailor medication to each patient's needs and ongoing management is required to ensure that patients continue to respond adequately to treatment. Ongoing support is required when patients switch between formulations. We also identify healthcare systems challenges related to limited awareness of CDI amongst primary care physicians and general paediatricians, and the need for highly skilled specialist care and appropriate workforce capacity. There is also a significant need for raising awareness and for the education of both healthcare professionals and patients about different aspects of CDI, with the aim of supporting improved care and effective patient engagement with healthcare professionals. We reflect on this information and highlight improvement opportunities. These relate to developing guidance to support patients, carers, primary care physicians and general paediatricians to identify clinical features earlier, and to consider CDI as a possible diagnosis when a patient presents with suggestive symptoms.