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New Study Reveals Psychological Impact of Diabetes Extends beyond Patients to Family Members

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© Business Wire 2014
2014-03-06 10:35:01 -

Study results announced today by Novo Nordisk and collaborative partners at the Diabetes UK conference show psychological support should be a priority for diabetes care in the UK, alongside improved education and self-management of the condition. The findings of the DAWN2™ study show that more than a quarter (26%) of people with diabetes experience diabetes-related distress. 1 Yet family members also experience distress, with around half (47%) worrying about low blood sugar (hypoglycaemic) events, and nearly one in ten (9%) family members having likely depression. 1

The DAWN2™ global study of diabetes was conducted among 15,000 people in 17 countries, including 900 people with diabetes, family members, carers and healthcare professionals in the UK. Results from the DAWN2™ study have found

that participation in diabetes education is associated with a greater sense of wellbeing and ability to self-manage diabetes. 2 However, over three-quarters of people with diabetes in the UK (78%) have never attended a diabetes education programme, and family members are rarely included (79%). 1 Additionally, only 14% of healthcare professionals say that all their patients with diabetes are offered structured diabetes education classes. 1

Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence at Diabetes UK and DAWN2™ steering committee member, said: “DAWN2 reveals the burden on families of those living with diabetes. Families are worried about their loved one’s future, fearful about aspects such as hypoglycaemia, and keen to help when it comes to self-management. We must take a person-centred approach to diabetes care that includes all those involved – the individual, their family network and the healthcare professional community. We need to work together to create a plan of care based on the person’s individual needs”.

In response to these findings, a national action plan has been launched to help improve diabetes care in the UK. The DAWN2™ action plan has been developed by an independent, multidisciplinary group, with the support of Novo Nordisk, and will provide innovative tools and resources to people living with and caring for diabetes, as part of a three-year programme.

Dr Neil Munro, Associate Specialist in Diabetes at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, DAWN2™ study lead and steering committee member, commented: “Diabetes remains a huge challenge for the NHS; it is therefore vital that we help people take steps to improve management of their own condition alongside the use of effective treatment regimes. By providing structured education to people with diabetes, their family members, and the healthcare professionals who care for them, we can make significant improvements in the quality of life for people with diabetes”.

Summary of DAWN2™ UK findings include: 1

- People with diabetes worry most about their weight (63%), hypoglycaemia (37%) and nocturnal hypoglycaemia (31%)
- 26% of people with diabetes experience diabetes-related distress
- 13% of people with diabetes have been discriminated against because of their condition
- 80% of specialists, nurses and dieticians and 53% of GPs recognise a major need for improved psychosocial support services
- 41% of people with diabetes report that their healthcare team listen to how they would like to do things; however, 81% of healthcare professionals reported that they have done so
- Only 14% of healthcare professionals say that all their patients with diabetes are offered structured diabetes education classes
- 39% of family members feel frustrated because they do not know how best to help their relative with diabetes
- 59% of healthcare professionals believe that family members play a vital role in good diabetes care

Notes to Editors:

Further information on DAWN2™ is available at : .. .
To speak to a member of the steering committee, please contact Rachel Cummings.

About DAWN2™

The DAWN2™ study aims to address the urgent need for innovative improvements in diabetes healthcare delivery, self-management and psychosocial support. DAWN2™ is a global Novo Nordisk diabetes initiative that gives a voice to more than 15,000 people in 17 countries and is conducted in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), the Steno Diabetes Center and a range of other national, regional and global partners.

The DAWN2™ global study of the attitudes, wishes and needs of people with diabetes, family members of people with diabetes and healthcare providers aims to improve the lives of people living with and affected by diabetes.

The three main objectives of DAWN2™ are.

- to advance understanding and awareness of the unmet needs of people with diabetes and their families
- to facilitate dialogue and collaboration in order to strengthen patient involvement and improve self-management and psychosocial support in diabetes care
- to establish a multinational scientific benchmarking system for person-centred diabetes care and health policy

The DAWN2™ UK steering committee consists of multidisciplinary experts including consultants, general practitioners, nurses, psychologists, patient groups (including Diabetes UK), dieticians, commissioners, and people with diabetes and family members.

About the UK Survey

Between 06/03/2012-22/05/2012, 500 people with diabetes (Type 1 diabetes, 81; Type 2 diabetes, 419) and 281 healthcare professionals (GPs, 120; specialists, 81; nurses/dieticians, 80) in the UK completed the DAWN2™ survey.

About Novo Nordisk

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk employs approximately 37,000 employees in 75 countries, and markets its products in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit


1 DAWN2 TM Country Report, United Kingdom – data on file.

2 Global Perspectives on Diabetes. DAWN2: Assessing psychosocial support for people with diabetes and their families.

Diabetes Voice December 2013; 58 (Special Issue 2):1-64.

Media enquiriesNovo Nordisk UKRachel Cummings+44

7725 289 520 :

Hossam Abdel-Kader
Phone: +43 1 9582319

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