DNSW’s Tools for “Non-compliant Avoiders”

This update from Diabetes NSW came across my linked-in feed the other day.Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 9.52.02 AM


Yes, indeed in 2016 a GP has indeed been given tools for dealing with “the non-compliant avoiders” by the state body supposedly helping people with diabetes who see fit to boast about it.

Diabetes Australia’s language position statement was published in 2011. It is a particularly well-considered and helpful document in my opinion. What I particularly like about it is the way it delves beneath the words to examine what the choice of particular words displays about underlying attitudes.

Use of the terms ‘(non-)compliant’, ‘(non-)adherent’ is particularly problematic. Such terms characterise the individual as cooperative or uncooperative, especially when used as adjectives to describe

the person rather than the behaviour. Using these labels can mean opportunities are lost to ask relevant questions, develop collaborative goals,
tailor treatment regimens and make referrals that actively support the person to manage his or her diabetes. Attempts to increase ‘compliance’ and ‘adherence’ generally involve persuading the person with diabetes to change his or her behaviour to fit the health professional’s agenda Diabetes Australia’s 2011 Language Position Statement

Not only has a General Practitioner come out of DNSW’s training talking about “non-compliant avoiders” but DNSW are, boasting about it and giving medical professionals  “tools” for dealing with these people. How very sad it is that Diabetes NSW is promoting the use of the very language deemed inappropriate (for very good reasons) by the national body’s position statement.

Sad days indeed for those of us with diabetes who have to interact with such attitudes!

What sort of tools do you use on non-compliant avoiders?
What sort of tools do you use on non-compliant avoiders?

4 thoughts on “DNSW’s Tools for “Non-compliant Avoiders”

  1. Sad indeed! I am still troubled by the use of the term “Diabetic” in so many journals and professional articles – it is not helpful!

    1. I’m actually fine to be called “a diabetic”, I know many don’t agree so I try to avoid the term but I find the implication that I need to tell someone that I’m a person extremely offensive. It seems to me objecting to a label assumes that the label is negative, so we’re fine with being labelled a mum or a dad, a student or a doctor but it’s a big deal to be a “diabetic”, so much so that we’re prepared to admit that we need to remind somebody we’re a human being rather than be “a diabetic”.

  2. Mmmm, useful tools to chip away at self-esteem and self worth. The first step to developing collaborative goals is to establish rapport with the patient, I feel. There are reasons a person with Diabetes does or does not do something. Why not try asking them? I know I clam up with any Health Care Professional who makes me feel bad about my choices which are informed by my 50 years living with my T1D. I am an intelligent human being and there are reasons why or why not I do things. Shove your tools in the same place as your textbooks I say.

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