Language Matters: Supporting Emotional Health in Diabetes Care

A newly founded (by NHS England and supported by Diabetes UK) expert group have developed a Language Matters Position Statement detailing a new set of recommendations for health practitioners on the language to be used in clinical encounters with people who have diabetes [LINK to the LM Position Statement or document on the page?]. The central tenets of the Position Statement are that 1) the wishes of those living with diabetes should be respected, 2) the relationship between the person with diabetes and their care provider is not always an equal one, 3) positive interactions lead to positive outcomes.

Lead Investigator: -Professor Cathy Lloyd, The Open University 

Dr. Cathy Lloyd is a Professor of Health Studies at The Open University, UK. She has an international reputation for research in the psychosocial field of diabetes. Her research includes work on diabetes and mental health taking an inclusive approach to her work and promoting positive and appropriate language for clinical encounters between people with diabetes, obesity, and health care professionals. She teaches health and social care to undergraduates and supervises a number of doctoral students. Professor Lloyd leads the Community Interventions Network for Diabetes and Depression (CoIN-DD), a collaborative research group for academics, researchers, and clinicians in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. She is the Project Lead for a global study in 15 countries, the International Prevalence and Treatment of Diabetes and Depression (INTERPRET-DD) Study investigating the prevalence of recognised and unrecognised depression, diabetes-related emotional distress, and the country-specific care pathways that are initiated to treat co-morbid diabetes and depression.

Watch the webinar:  Language Matters: Supporting Emotional Health in Diabetes Care here:

Further resources to support language use in clinical encounters with people with diabetes can be found here:

The CoIN-DD work has been replicated in Kenya, where a new leaflet addressing the language used when caring for people with diabetes and depression has been promoted in both community and hospital settings.

In order to develop the leaflet, a series of focus groups and one-to-one interviews with people with diabetes and/or depression, as well as community health workers and public health officers, were conducted. These showed clearly that there remained a lot of stigma attached to these two conditions which often prohibited people from coming forward for treatment and care. The leaflet was designed and evaluated by our research participants ready for distribution in the surrounding rural communities.