In the past 19 months I’ve had the honour and pleasure of being a member of one of Diabetes UK’s seven new Clinical Studies Groups (CSGs) which were set up to identify research gaps and prioritise how they might be filled with new studies.
I was fortunate to join my first choice, CSG5, which aims to improve our understanding of the long-term self-management of Types 1 & 2 diabetes by looking at diet, exercise, glycaemic control inc hypoglycaemia & hyperglycaemia, education and peer support, along with (importantly!) other more informal learning and support options. It also covers mental health, psychological and emotional support, and behaviour change. All topics I’m obviously interested in!
“I really don’t want us to be just taking insulin in 20 yrs time. There has to be something better.” Prof Colin Dayan.
It’s been hugely satisfying to have two of my personal hobby horses – mental health and wellbeing in relation to diabetes and women’s health and hormone fluctuations – identified as areas in need of research, then have them endorsed by clinicians, researchers and Diabetes UK. And it’s no coincidence that strategic plans for diabetes in the coming year(s) include a focus on self-management and mental health – yay!
It was announced this week that Diabetes UK will fund a study to look at women’s experiences of self managing diabetes during the menopause. (Hopefully, more on the mental health side of research possibilities in spring 2019…)
During the menopause many find it extremely difficult to look after their diabetes well. At present, few clinicians know how to support these efforts. This new study will take place during 2019 and hopefully many women living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes will volunteer to share their past and present experiences when it begins!
As Anne Cooper wrote in 2015, guidance and support is desperately needed (yes guys, it can be that bad!) for millions of women struggling worldwide, and of course for our clinicians. Let’s hope the study begins to systematically gather evidence as a basis for then building that advice and support for people living with diabetes.
In this short video made at the 2018 Diabetes UK Professionals Conference, Prof Colin Dayan, Chair of CSG2 which looks at Type 1 prevention, targets and therapies, asks more volunteers to come forward for studies. And I share my passion for participation and the motivational boost that can undoubtedly follow!
Check out these sites regularly for trial opportunities and updates, check your eligibility, then VOLUNTEER!