Social Impact of Diabetes: Stigma and Sharing

Alongside our work gathering feedback and opinions from people with diabetes about the diabetes devices and  therapies they use, we have been looking at some of the social impacts of diabetes (some of our work was the subject of a late-breaking poster at The American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in summer 2014).

We were curious to find that perceptions of whether diabetes in the USA came with social stigma seemed more widespread amongst those with type 1 diabetes than amongst those with type 2, and wondered whether that was in part because type 2 was less ‘visible’. When we asked more recently ‘do your Facebook friends know you have diabetes?’, significantly more people with type 1 diabetes said ‘yes’ compared to those with type 2. Here are the two results side-by-side. We plan to continue investigating this, because we believe that the social context has a direct bearing on how well diabetes devices, therapies and regimes serve different parts of the diabetes community. What’s clear is that one size does not fit all.

If you want to know more, have an opinion about this topic, or have a suggestion for research, let us know!