Today I thought I’d focus on some positives, some of the things that are pushing healthcare and/or the discussion about diabetes in the right direction and reflecting the interests of those who have diabetes and not just what well-meaning experts think we need. Here are my top 3 of recent weeks, do you have any others?
At long last somebody has pointed out that there’s more to life than the HBA1c. I’ve felt for too long that this number that records how much glucose is stuck to your red blood cells is seen as the encapsulation of your value as a human being. Well a study on people with type 2 diabetes was so bold as to say that fixating on the HBA1c is a “fundamentally flawed” strategy and get this, they suggest considering patient preferences, quality of life and the burden of treatment. A useful summary of the study, with a link to access the full text is available viia the Diabetes Educators website. Nobody’s saying let’s throw out and ignore the HBA1c but it is calling for the vital stat to be considered in context and I think that’s an excellent thing.
Stigma is something that we’ve spoken of before. I believe addressing stigma should be the core business of any organisation that claims to speak on behalf of those with diabetes. The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes is doing some great work in researching stigma and most importantly, bringing it to the attention of the supposed representative bodies. I particularly like their work on the impact of prevention campaigns on those who already have diabetes. Check out their work here.
The annual ADS-ADEA conference in Melbourne at the end of August is, for the first time, having a “consumer outreach day”. It seems crazy that the people who are likely to benefit from the latest research and dissemination of new discoveries and information have traditionally been locked out of the very places these are being discussed-(this happens pretty much around the world for a few reasons mainly legal problems with pharma company advertising). I’ve thought that conferences would be great places for breaking down some of the barriers and encourage understanding between the people who manage their condition 24/7, 365 days a year and the health professionals who attempt to assist them. So three cheers for a step in the right direction by the ADS-ADEA, I also love that the day is a Friday (easier for taking time off work for many) and that the cost is only $40. Often the cost of conferences is prohibitive for those who don’t have employer subsidy and/or are able to claim a tax deduction, even if people with diabetes are “allowed” to attend. So well done to ADS-ADEA and let’s hope this is just the beginning of more consumer involvement in diabetes conferences.
Have you seen any good news recently? Please share in the comments if you have.Tweet