“Are you sure you’re going to have another one of those?”

ACBRD and colleagues in Sydney publish paper on perceptions of social control and social support relating to the self-management of type 2 diabetes

by Dr Adriana Ventura

Family and partners of those with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are often drawn into the self-management process. These close relationships can have both positive and negative impacts on the person’s self-management. Less is known about the influence of the wider social network (e.g. friends, work colleagues). Our aim was to explore the perceived impact of the immediate and wider social network on a person’s self-management of T2D.

A total of 25 adults with T2D were interviewed about the ‘social experience’ of living with T2D.  We used two frameworks for understanding the ways in which a social network can influence coping and behaviours: a) the health-related social control model (i.e. attempts to correct or improve self-management) and b) social support model (i.e. the provision of encouragement and positive feedback). Four main themes were identified, including two themes that were established a priori (i.e. social control and social support), and two themes that emerged from the data (i.e. non-involvement and unintentional undermining).

Perhaps surprisingly, social control wasn’t always perceived negatively, with some people feeling appreciative and accepting of the ‘controlling’ behaviour exerted by those in their social network. Others, however, felt that the controlling behaviour was intrusive and critical. Overall, most participant felt that their social network offered support in the form of practical assistance and/or emotional validation. ‘Non-involvement’ emerged as a new theme, and was the most prevalent overall.  While some preferred that their social network were not involved in their diabetes management, others perceived their diabetes to be unimportant to others and wished for more input. The second and least frequently occurring theme to emerge from the data was ‘unintentional undermining’. This referred to participants’ perceiving thoughtless but insensitive behaviours/remarks from the social network.

Although family members have the most significant influence on T2D management, this study shows that friends and work colleagues also play a role. Therefore, increasing awareness of diabetes self-management is important across all relevant social networks.

Newton-John TRO, Ventura AD, Mosely K, Browne JL, Speight J. ‘Are you sure you’re going to have another one of those?’: A qualitative analysis of the social control and social support models in type 2 diabetes. Journal of Health Psychology. 2017; 22(4), 1819-1829.

Grant success for the ACBRD!

Dr Adriana Ventura and team will take the Diabetes and Emotional Health handbook to the ‘next level’ thanks to funding secured through the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation.

We are delighted that a project grant submitted to the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) Diabetes Research Foundation has been successful. Led by Dr Adriana Ventura and Dr Christel Hendrieckx, the project is titled ‘Supporting people with diabetes distress: Development and pilot randomised controlled trial of an online training module for health professionals’.

 The objective of the project is to deliver a practical, evidence-based online training module to support health professionals to identify and address diabetes distress in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The content of the module will be based on previous work on the Diabetes and Emotional Health handbook, taking this already high-quality resource to the next level.  A randomised controlled trial will provide important evidence for the effectiveness of the online training module for improving health professional knowledge, motivation and confidence to identify and address diabetes distress in clinical practice.

Once a fully functioning and pilot tested training module is available, the ACBRD plans to offer the module to ADEA members as a tool for continuing professional development (CPD).  The online training module is expected to significantly increase health professionals’ ability to manage emotional health issues in clinical practice.

Have ‘your SAY’ on diabetes and quality of life

Research opportunity: Adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes invited to take part in online survey.

by Dr Elizabeth Holmes-Truscott

The landscape of diabetes treatments, technologies and education programs is forever changing and growing, but is united in the goal to improve the lives of people with diabetes. We believe that it is essential to evaluate the impact of existing and novel diabetes treatment, technology and programs, on quality of life, not only medical outcomes.

Quality of life cannot be assessed with blood or other medical tests. Quality of life is subjective – it is only truly known by the individual – so it is not even appropriate to ask a health professional to provide a ‘proxy’ assessment of a person’s quality of life. Quality of life means different things to different people, at different times. There are now many questionnaires available to assess the impact of diabetes on quality of life. This is where we need your help! We think its important for people with diabetes to tell us, researchers, which are the best questionnaire(s) from your perspective – which are most relevant, easy to understand, easy to complete, etc,.

We invite English-speaking adults (18-75 years old) with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to complete the  ‘Your SAY (Self-management And You): Quality of Life’ online survey.

In order to have an opinion, we ask that you complete several quality of life questionnaires and then give your feedback on what you like or don’t like about each one. We know the survey is quite long and the questions do seem repetitive but it is important to pitch these questions against each other to understand which ones work best for which purpose. The findings of the survey will assist researchers and health professionals in choosing the ‘best’ measure of quality of life for people with diabetes.

We very much hope you will get involved, and have Your SAY by completing the online survey.

The Your SAY study is being conducted by the ACBRD, University of Sheffield and University of Surrey and is a sub-study of DAFNEplus (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating). The findings of the Your SAY study will inform questionnaire selection for DAFNE