Published on 19 July 2023

Online intervention for people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who experience diabetes, distress, shame and self-criticism.

A new study has been launched to provide an online compassion intervention to adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who experience diabetes distress, self-criticism, and shame in relation to their diagnosis.

The study is being carried out by researchers at the Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent

Hetashi Bawa, Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We know that having a long-term condition can have an impact on wellbeing and quality of life, therefore we would like to understand how to provide support for this experience.

“Experiences of shame are common in people with and without health conditions. This may contribute to thoughts that others view you as having characteristics that are unattractive or rejectable, or experiences of feeling inadequate or flawed. This can contribute towards self-criticism, which is characterised by negative evaluations of yourself. Diabetes distress is an emotional response to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes which can impact emotional wellbeing and glycaemic control (HbA1c).

“Compassion is when we have an awareness of ours and others’ suffering, alongside an intention to alleviate this. Research shows that people with greater compassion towards themselves have reduced shame and self-criticism and better wellbeing, quality of life and physical health. This project will be providing an intervention that is based on Compassionate Mind Training over four-weeks. The intervention intends to share information and strategies to reduce diabetes distress, self-criticism, and shame, and improve physical health.

Woman talks with mental health professional.

“I would like to invite you to take part in a research study that I am conducting as part of my training. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you.”

The project is recruiting adults who have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. You are invited to participate in this project if you meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years old or older.
  • Diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes by a clinician in the NHS more than one year ago. 
  • Self-managing your condition.
  • Experiencing shame or self-criticism in relation to your diabetes diagnosis.
  • Residing and receiving healthcare within the United Kingdom (UK).
  • Have multiple health conditions, one of which must be type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

    As the project has a focus on type 1 or type 2 diabetes, researchers are unable to accept people who have pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes, currently experiencing severe mental health difficulties, self-harming or experiencing suicidal thoughts, and those who are currently engaging with psychological therapy. As the intervention is currently only available in English, researchers are unable to recruit non-English speaking participants in the research or people who do not reside in the UK.
To take part in the study click here
NOTE: DRWF will from time-to-time advise readers of ‘calls to participate’ in diabetes and related health research studies. It should not necessarily be considered that the charity is in any way connected to the study or the group issuing the call for participants. If we are involved in any way, we will make this known. We will only share external calls where we have confirmed that the study holds ethics committee approval, and the study is specific to diabetes and related health. Taking part in a medical research study is a big step and further helpful information can be found via the National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Trials Guide.

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