In Diabetes Research, T1DE, Type 1

In a recently released report by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Australia to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, survey results highlighted the everyday struggles of Australians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in self-managing diabetes, the barriers faced in accessing technology and the flow-on effect on both mental and physical health that can result.

There was a clear correlation between the affordability of diabetes management (inclusive of health insurance, medical appointments and monitoring equipment), and the ability to self-manage diabetes and maintain good long-term health, including mental health and wellbeing.

The study also identified areas which were shown to have positive impacts on diabetes management, including accessing support outside of the healthcare system, and using available technologies.

The survey results, which included responses from over 1300 Australians living with T1D, as well as their carers and health professionals found that:

  • T1D impacts a person’s social life: particularly in regard to spontaneity with romantic relationships, childhood friendships and career choices.
  • Link between diabetes management and mental health: with respondents noting declining management goes hand in hand with negative mental health, decreased social engagement and increased financial burden.
  • Greater impact on lower socio-economic groups: with the costs of monitoring and pump technology being prohibitive to a large proportion of participants – with 71% saying cost is the reason they don’t use a Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM).
  • External support outside healthcare system is essential: but 30% unable to access external support.

Correlation between use of diabetes technologies and improved diabetes management JDRF Chief Executive Officer Mike Wilson OAM states: “Financial burden is exacerbating mental health issues for Australians living with T1D, with half (50%) experiencing feelings of depression and almost 9 out of 10 (87%) revealing their condition negatively impacts their quality of life. These staggering numbers are disproportionately higher for those in financially challenged positions (57% and 90% respectively).”

Read the full JDRF media release here and access the report here.

Diabetes WA is helping to address these findings by raising awareness of diabetes, the importance of early diagnosis, and ensuring everyone has equal access to the knowledge and support to self-manage their condition and live a full, and healthy life. Find out more and #JoinTheFight here.

 

Diabetes WA is also directly supporting those living with diabetes in our community, through providing access to free self-management workshops and webinars, offering Telehealth services to those living in remote areas of WA, and our Helpline. Find out more about how to access our services here.

If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes distress, burnout, depression or anxiety, it is important to reach out:. Contact our Helpline on 1300 001 880 or find more information here.

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