Identification and Management of Metabolic Syndrome: The Role of the APN

Douglas H. Sutton, EdD, MSN; Deborah A. Raines, PhD


Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2007;7(2) 

In This Article


APNs need to include screening for metabolic syndrome and a discussion of health-promoting behaviors as part of routine assessment of all patients. Early intervention is the key to limiting long-term morbidity due to metabolic syndrome. Robert represents a typical case of a patient with delayed entry into the healthcare system, and predisposing genetic and environmental risk factors but not symptoms interfering with his current activities of daily living or self-perceived indicators of overall health. Empowering him as an individual and providing knowledge that may serve to motivate him to make lifestyle changes is a critical intervention.

Although TLCs, coupled with a pharmacologic plan, may prove sufficient to control and ultimately reverse Robert's diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, compliance with major lifestyle change has been reported to be low, and most patients fail to achieve target goals.[26,43] This finding heightens the need for early intervention by the APN as well as frequent reassessment and modification of the treatment plan. Managing the complexities of a patient with metabolic syndrome is a multidimensional challenge; APNs must recognize the importance of their role in slowing or stopping the progression of future debilitating disease.


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