Message in a film for World Diabetes Day

By Editor
13th November 2015
East Midlands, Latest news Self management

A diabetes researcher has combined science with art to produce a powerful awareness-raising message for World Diabetes Day.

Michelle Hadjiconstantinou, a University of Leicester PhD student and researcher based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, turned to her artistic side to create a short animation aimed at highlighting the challenges posed by type 2 diabetes.

The project, produced using a technique called RSA animation where people draw on camera to a voiceover, was completed as part of Michelle’s doctorate into developing web-based interventions to improve the wellbeing of people with type 2 diabetes.

It has been released ahead of this year’s World Diabetes Day, which raises awareness of both type 1 and 2 diabetes and takes place every November 14.

The film, which is based on findings from published research and is available on YouTube, explains what type 2 diabetes is and describes what happens to the body when people get the condition, including the physiological changes.

It also looks at how diabetes impacts on wellbeing as well as covering medication, self-management, diet, sedentary behaviour and physical activity.

‘Vicious cycle’

Michelle said: “I wanted to make a film, which not only brought together all of my research in a concise manner, but also told the story pictorially of the impact type 2 diabetes has on people’s wellbeing.

“The film demonstrates a vicious cycle – if people with type 2 diabetes are feeling overwhelmed this may impact their decisions in terms of self-management and self-care, which could then have an impact on their HbA1c levels and their risks for long term complications. This in turn could lead to poor quality of life, and poor wellbeing overall.

“But it also shows how structured education can support people to make informed decisions, improving the self-management of their condition.”

Professor Melanie Davies, who is a professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre, which is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, is Michelle’s supervisor.

Professor Davies said: “We know Michelle is a talented researcher but we were unaware of her artistic credentials. This excellent animation brings Michelle’s work to life and highlights the enormous challenges posed by type 2 diabetes on both society and individuals.”

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.

Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, it is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation led by Professor Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

To view the film, click here.

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