Global study finds one in five feel discriminated against because of their diabetes
Key results from the global Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs 2 study (DAWN2™) show that one in five people with diabetes feel discriminated against because of their condition, and support from the broader community is scarce. Results from the DAWN2™ study were presented today at the 73rd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
DAWN2™ represents opinions from more than 15,000 people living, or caring for people, with diabetes in 17 countries across four continents.
Family members and healthcare professionals surveyed as part of DAWN2™ report similar beliefs. According to the study, one in five family members also believes that their loved ones with diabetes face discrimination. Among the diabetes health care professionals participating in the survey, one out of three were concerned about discrimination and said there was a "major need" for improvement in the acceptance of people with diabetes as equal members in society. Furthermore, the DAWN2™ study revealed that the experience of being discriminated against due to diabetes is associated with emotional distress.
"Evidence suggests that even with the best modern therapies and care, the experience of discrimination can influence self-management and quality of life as well as clinical outcomes for people with chronic illnesses. The DAWN2™ study results highlight surprisingly high rates of perceived experienced discrimination and allow for an in-depth understanding now of the nature of this discrimination and the consequences it has for health and quality of life," explains Professor Mark Peyrot, Principal Investigator and Chair of the International Publication Planning Committee (IPPC) overseeing DAWN2™.
The DAWN2™ study also found major variations between countries in perceived discrimination, ranging from 11–28% for people with diabetes and 10–40% for family members, suggesting that there are viable pathways for improvement and that countries can look to others for models to follow.
"Through DAWN2™, people with diabetes and their families have been given a voice. In this day and age, no one should face discrimination because of diabetes and people with diabetes have the right to live full, active lives and have an equal role in society. We will use the results of DAWN2™ to educate decision-makers to make changes that are desperately needed to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes," said Sir Michael Hirst, President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Additional DAWN2™ study results released during ADA highlighted significant inadequacies across countries in relation to empowerment and education of people with diabetes, psychosocial support, and quality diabetes care.
Key results presented were (data were adjusted according to age and gender to reflect the general diabetes population in each country):
- People with diabetes had significant emotional distress related to their diabetes (mean 44.6%, ranging from 22% in the United States and 21% in the Netherlands to 65% in Algeria)
- 13.8% of people with diabetes had severely impaired emotional well-being and were at risk of depression (ranging from 8% in Mexico to 16.6% in the United States and 20% in Algeria)
- Over one-third (35.3%) of family members reported a significant burden on the family related to diabetes (ranging from 12–60%)
- 48.8% of people with diabetes had attended diabetes education (ranging from 23% in India to 74% in the United States and 83% in Canada)
- 23.1% of family members had attended diabetes education (ranging from 12% in The Russian Federation to 31% in the United States and 40% in Denmark)
Three scientific articles were released on June 23, 2013, focusing on country variations in psychosocial indicators of diabetes care as assessed by people with diabetes, family members and health care professionals.