Our language matters: Improving communication with and about people with diabetes. A position statement by Diabetes Australia

version Jan 7 2021


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The words used about diabetes affect the physical and emotional health of people living with diabetes. They also affect how individuals and society view people living with, or at risk of, diabetes.

People with diabetes, their families, and people at risk of diabetes, need and deserve communications that are clear and accurate, respectful and inclusive, and free from judgement and bias. The aim of this position statement is to help bring about positive change in the language used about diabetes. It is based on 30+ years of research into the experiences of people with diabetes.

Changing the language of diabetes can make a powerful and positive difference to the emotional well-being, self-care and health outcomes of people affected by diabetes. It also affects community and government support for funding diabetes care, prevention and research.

Diabetes Australia encourages everyone communicating about diabetes, or about people affected by diabetes, to choose and use their words carefully to support all people affected by diabetes.

This position statement is intended as a guide for people working in health- care, the media, government and policy, academia, industry, as well as employers and the community. It may also be helpful for the family and friends of people with diabetes.


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