The ACBRD at the #ADC23

Our research at the Australasian Diabetes Congress 

By Prof Jane Speight

Last month, eight members of the ACBRD team went to Adelaide to take part in the 2023  Australasian Diabetes Congress. This national conference is a great chance to hear the latest diabetes research in and beyond Australia – and for us to share our research.  

We gave four presentations in the ‘ADEA Best of the Best Orals’: 

  • Dr Eloise Litterbach presented findings from the Language Matters survey. This study explored what words and phrases people living with diabetes prefer, and the impact words can have. For example, people with diabetes prefer “managing” diabetes (85%) to “controlling” diabetes (19%). They prefer talking about glucose levels being ‘in’ or ‘out’ of target range (72%) rather than being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (18%).   

  • Dr Edith Holloway spoke about training diabetes health professionals to provide emotional support to adults with diabetes. Data presented are from the LISTEN program.  

  • Dr Liz Holmes-Truscott shared findings from a comparison of eight Australian diabetes campaign videos. This study explored the potential positive and negative impacts of past campaigns among the public and people with diabetes. 

  • Sarah Manallack spoke about her research on the links between self-blame, weight, and healthful behaviours among adults with type 2 diabetes. Congratulations to Sarah on her first oral presentation at a conference! 

Jennifer Halliday spoke in an invited session about ‘hybrid closed loop’ (HCL). She showed that adults with type 1 diabetes using HCL gain a sense of satisfaction from managing their diabetes in this way. This positive impact was shown mid-trial and continued. Other benefits were not seen until the end of the trial. 

Jennifer Halliday also spoke in a symposium about mental health hosted by the Primary Care Diabetes Society of Australia. Jennifer shared our work to bring Diabetes Distress eLearning to health professionals. 

Dr Liz Holmes-Truscott took part in an invited symposium ‘when lived experience and professional worlds collide’. She shared her experience of having gestational diabetes, and how this shaped both her pregnancy and subsequent research. Liz presented alongside others who shared their stories of both living with and working in diabetes.  

On the Thursday morning, Liz and I were proud to speak in an invited symposium about the pledge to end diabetes stigma. We shared findings from the international consensus that has informed the Pledge. Meaghan Read, who lives with type 1 diabetes, spoke about why the pledge is so important to people living with diabetes. Glen Noonan (CEO, Diabetes Victoria) and Susan Davidson (CEO, ADEA) chaired this session. They both spoke with passion about why they were so keen for their organisations to be among the first in Australia, and the world, to take the pledge

The ACBRD also shared five research posters, and we were co-authors on several other presentations. Over the three days, we had a stand in the Exhibition. At the stand, we were able to highlight the ACBRD’s work. It was fantastic to catch up with so many people with diabetes, health professionals, researchers, the professional bodies, and industry. We are already looking forward next year’s meeting in Perth! 

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