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Language matters portal launched to improve interactions

By Editor
25th September 2020
Good practice

Practical examples of language to “encourage positive interactions” with people with diabetes and “subsequently positive outcomes” have been shared via a new website.

Language Matters Diabetes has slowly evolved into a global movement that discusses the language we use when dealing with different types of diabetes.

Launched by Professor Partha Kar, who is National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes with NHS England, languagemattersdiabetes.com has captured examples of best practice on the subject.

It has been supported by organisations including NHS England, Diabetes UK and JDRF, and features work from across the world.

The guides provide practical examples of language that will encourage positive interactions with people living with diabetes and subsequently positive outcomes.

Professor Kar says the aim now is to “keep it live and evolve as we go along, make it a portal of amalgamating all literature, become a learning tool”.

Dr Kar said: “The language used by healthcare professionalscan have a profound impact on how people living with diabetes, and those who care for them, experience their condition and feel about living with it day-to-day. At its best, good use of language; verbal, written and non-verbal (body language) which is more inclusive and values based, can lower anxiety, build confidence, educate and help to improve self-care.

“Conversely, poor communication can be stigmatising, hurtful and undermining of self-care and have a detrimental effect on clinical outcomes. The language used in the care of those with diabetes has the power to reinforce negative stereotypes, but it also has the power to promote positive stereotypes.

People with diabetes internalise messages from the media, from those around them, but most of all from their healthcare providers. When these messages are perceived negatively, whether it is intended or not, this can lead to feelings of shame, guilt and resentment. People who are ashamed of a condition will find it much harder to engage and manage that condition proactively.​”

To visit the website, click here.

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