Reducing Diabetes-Related Stigma in Language Used by Primary Care Providers – UROP Symposium

Reducing Diabetes-Related Stigma in Language Used by Primary Care Providers

Sarah A Eljahmi

Research Mentor(s): Kevin Joiner
Program: CCSFP
Authors: Sarah Eljahmi, Kevin Joiner, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, CDCES


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition of two types: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) requires intensive care and self-management, with factors that pose many challenges in diabetes care. The young adult demographic, in particular, may experience reduced supervision or significant life events that may hinder performance in managing Type 1 diabetes. Young adults with T1D tend to require greater focus on and attention to their health as maintaining lower hemoglobin A1C ranges tends to be more difficult for the age cohort. Diabetes-related stigma in the language used by primary care providers is another possible challenge that may influence the level of care for T1D. Interventions have been developed and incorporated into medical training, yet there is a gap in research on the acceptability of video interventions in health care. This study evaluates the acceptability and feasibility of a 12-minute educational video intervention targeted toward primary care providers in diabetes care. The video intervention highlights stigmatizing language used in diabetes care and methods to combat its usage. Through qualitative interviews, 11 participants discussed their viewpoints on the video intervention’s effectiveness in fulfilling its purpose. Rigorous analyses of the responses yielded four main themes, each reflecting perceptions of the video’s content: 1) relatability/transferability, 2) advocacy, 3) clinic culture, and 4) barriers and influences. The resulting themes were assessed by following an established theoretical framework of acceptability. The acceptability framework consists of a number of constructs developed by researcher Mandeep Sekhon and his research team. Changes in diabetes care, particularly among young adults with T1D, can be made by identifying and applying effective means of combating diabetes-related stigma. To a greater extent, acceptable health interventions can mitigate stigma in other conditions and areas, potentially yielding increased health improvements and quality care.

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