The diaTribe Foundation and the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) are excited to announce a new partnership focused on researching and reducing diabetes stigma, housed under diaTribe’s dStigmatize program. This collaboration brings together two leading organizations in the international diabetes community with a shared commitment to mproving the lives of people with diabetes.
The partnership will enable a series of research projects and initiatives with a focus on understanding, characterizing, and reducing the stigma associated with all types of diabetes.
Diabetes stigma is a significant global issue that affects roughly 4 in 5 adults with diabetes. This form of stigma refers to the stereotypes, blame, judgment, or prejudice that people with diabetes experience due to their condition. It can impact their mental and physical health, their self-care and self-esteem, as well as their social and professional lives. For example, diabetes stigma can be associated with increased depressive and anxiety symptoms, diabetes distress, and lower self-esteem. It can also be associated with increased concealment of diabetes and its management (e.g. not checking glucose levels in public), higher HbA1c (average blood glucose), and disengagement from the healthcare system.
It manifests in the looks, stares, judgemental comments, jokes and other ways in which people with diabetes can be treated differently than those without diabetes. And it can lead to rejection, exclusion, or outright discrimination (e.g. in workplaces, schools, and other settings).
Diabetes stigma often stems from misunderstandings, misconceptions, or ignorance about what diabetes is, how it is managed, and the complications that may be associated with it. A crucial contributor to diabetes stigma is the myth that diabetes is caused solely by unhealthy behaviors and a lack of personal responsibility. This oversimplifies the risk factors, which include genetics, biology, ethnicity, family history, aging, a person’s environment, and behavior. No matter what the type of diabetes, no one chooses to have this condition; and no one deserves to be judged for having it or for how they manage it.
The collaboration between diaTribe and ACBRD aims to raise awareness about diabetes stigma, increase our understanding through research and sharing experiences, and develop evidence-based strategies to bring an end to diabetes stigma.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the ACBRD, a global leader in psychosocial diabetes research,” said Matthew Garza, diaTribe’s Stigma Program Manager. “We really believe that the ACBRD’s world-leading research on diabetes stigma has brought to the fore an essential missing element of effective diabetes care, and that by working together we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with diabetes.”
“The diaTribe Foundation has an impressive reputation in diabetes advocacy and raising awareness across the international diabetes community”, said Professor Jane Speight, Foundation Director of the ACBRD. “They have already shown great initiative in establishing dStigmatize, as a growing international movement focused on ending diabetes stigma. Bringing
an end to diabetes stigma will take collective international leadership, and that is why we are delighted to work with diaTribe on this pivotal issue.”
Central to the partnership between diaTribe and the ACBRD is collaboration and collective leadership on a series of research projects and initiatives aimed at understanding and reducing diabetes stigma. This will include conducting and publishing further research, developing resources for people with diabetes, healthcare professionals, and the broader diabetes community, as well as global advocacy efforts to raise awareness about, and to bring an end to, diabetes stigma.
About the diaTribe Foundation
The diaTribe Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes and advocating for action. diaTribe Learn provides free educational resources that range from the latest news to perspectives on research, drugs, technology to stories from members of the diabetes community. diaTribe advocates for advances in healthcare policy, regulatory change, the adoption of Time in Range, and eliminating the burden of diabetes stigma. In 2022, diaTribe launched dStigmatize.org to educate people about diabetes stigma and draw attention to this major public health challenge – including providing general information, research, community stories, and anti-stigma toolkits. For more information, visit dStigmatize.org or follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
About the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes
The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes is the first national research center dedicated to investigating the behavioral, psychological and social aspects of living with diabetes. Established in 2010 as a partnership for better health between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University the ACBRD focuses on improving both the health and quality of life of all people with diabetes and their families. The center has conducted influential studies focused on understanding diabetes stigma and its impacts; it developed and validated the Diabetes Stigma Assessment Scales (DSAS-1 and DSAS-2), which are used in several countries across the world. The ACBRD also produces evidence-based psycho-educational and behavioral resources with and for people with diabetes and the healthcare professionals who support them. For more information, visit acbrd.org.au or follow on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).