Back in March 2011, we ran a survey asking our members what they wished their health professionals understood about living with type 1. 278 people responded, and the results showed not only that our membership is very articulate, but that there are some opinions shared by many of us.
When asked about health professionals’ general understanding of T1, endocrinologists were rated good or excellent by 90% of respondents, diabetes educators by 75%, and GPs by 46%. However, when asked about their health professionals’ understanding of the day-to-day challenges of living with T1, the scores dropped dramatically: endos were rated good or excellent by only 61% of people, diabetes educators by 64% and GPs by 27%.
Some key themes that emerged from the comments section of the survey:
- T1 is complex, unpredictable, and every day is different
- It’s 24×7 – there’s no break from it
- Health professionals need to treat each patient as an individual
- Please listen!
- Please understand the difference between T1 and T2
You can read the full survey report here.
So what did we do with all this great information?
We’ve created an eLearning module, targeting health professionals involved in type 1 diabetes, to help them understand the experience of living with type 1. It’s free for anyone to access, and it is going to be accredited so that health professionals will be able to earn continuing professional development points by completing it.
Although we developed it with health professionals in mind, it is appropriate for almost anyone who wants to learn more about what it’s like to live with type 1 – family members, friends and colleagues of people with type 1, for instance.
The module follows an ordinary day-in-the-life of three characters: Javier, Cathie and Ai-Lin, who all have type 1. We built their stories from common experiences mentioned on Reality Check, and from specific events volunteered by the T1DN management committee.
By being proactive and offering health professionals this fantastic, interesting, convenient way to improve their knowledge, we hope that we’ll be contributing to more positive relationships and better outcomes for people with type 1.
Access the Learning Module
Anyone can participate! It takes about an hour to complete but you don’t have to do it all in one sitting – you can return later if you like.