We recently attended and presented work at the American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans
The 82nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association were held in June. Staff and students from the ACBRD presented their latest work – virtually and in person. I presented and attended several sessions in person in New Orleans. Here is a brief summary of the work we presented, and my highlights from the psychosocial sessions.
Prof Jane Speight co-convened and presented in the ‘stigma in diabetes care: evidence and solutions’ symposium. Jane highlighted that diabetes has a big image problem, which likely contributes to the stigma experienced by people with diabetes. She noted increasing calls to action to stop diabetes stigma. She also called for more strategies, campaigns, research, better clinical care, and more advocacy. Dr Rebecca Pearl presented evidence on the experiences and impact of weight stigma. Dr Kevin Joiner focused on the role of health professionals in perpetuating diabetes stigma. He also discussed the training videos he is developing at University of Michigan to improve the language used in diabetes care. Finally, Dr Susan Guzman discussed the stigma experienced by people with type 1 diabetes. She called on all of us to take the judgement out of diabetes care. You can read more on this symposium in DiaTribe’s summary here.
I presented findings from our research in collaboration with the OPEN project. We looked at psychosocial outcomes among adults and children with type 1 diabetes using open-source artificial pancreas systems. We found that adults using these devices report better outcomes on eight different measures than those not using these systems. This includes issues such as sleep quality, diabetes distress, and quality of life. Children who are using these devices also report better outcomes compared to those not using these systems. These results show that these devices may have a beneficial impact. Further research is needed to examine the reasons for these differences.
Dr Melanie Broadley and Dr Uffe Søholm presented findings from the HypoRESOLVE study. HypoRESOLVE is a large European study on which Prof Jane Speight and Dr Christel Hendrieckx collaborate. Melanie presented the early findings from a review of the impact of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) on cognitive function. Large effects were shown for attention and working memory. Moderate effects were shown for more complex reasoning tasks. Uffe presented the early findings from the HypoMETRICS study. HypoMETRICS is examining how low glucose while asleep affects daily functioning among adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Early data from those with type 1 diabetes show the potentially pivotal role of hypoglycemia on sleep quality, mood and alertness.
- Dr Alan Delamater received the Richard R. Rubin Award. This award recognises an outstanding contribution to the study of behavioural aspects of diabetes. Dr Delamater summarised key developments over his 40-year career. He concluded that, despite new technologies, the fundamental psychological and behavioural issues of self-care remain.
- Suicide and Self-Injury—Unveiling and Addressing the Hidden Nightmare in Diabetes. Prof Katharine Barnard led this important session focussed on suicide and self-injury among those with diabetes, and what we can do to prevent it. In this session, Kelly Close encouraged health professionals to ask openly about suicide. While they might feel anxious about asking about suicide, the people with diabetes struggling with this are feeling much worse. It’s important to ask.
- Technology Education in Underserved Populations—Education Factors. Technology alone is not enough. The right education and support is also needed. Dr Anne Peters gave an inspiring talk on this topic. She also discussed how barriers like language and life stressors can impact someone’s diabetes management.
- Diabetes, Metabolic Health, and Clinical Care among People Who Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Diverse, Queer, or Questioning. This session focused on diabetes care among those in the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, this group experiences frequent discrimination from health professionals. People in the LGBTQ+ community have more stressful experiences, and the research presented suggests that this may be why they are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Data about LGBTQ+ identity is often missing from research studies and clinical records. More research is needed on the LGBTQ+ community.
Next year, the ADA sessions will be held in San Diego, California, USA (23 – 27 June).
For more about stigma, check out these blogs.
For more about technology in diabetes care, check out these blogs.Print This Post