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We're calling for new research into diabetes distress

We’ve partnered with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR), to co-fund new research to better understand diabetes distress. We hope this vital research will lead to better care that focuses on the emotional aspects of living with diabetes.

Diabetes doesn’t just affect you physically, it can affect you emotionally too. But there’s still a lot more we need to understand about the impact of diabetes on mental and emotional wellbeing, and importantly, how to support people.

To drive forward research in this area, our Diabetes Research Steering Groups brought together researchers and people living with diabetes to uncover the research questions on mental health and emotional wellbeing that most urgently needed answering. One of the top priorities that emerged was the need for better ways to identify when people have diabetes distress and get them the support they need.

Setting the research agenda

Diabetes distress is what some people feel when they’re overwhelmed by the relentlessness of living with diabetes. It’s normal and really common to feel this way. 1 in 4 people with type 1 diabetes, and 1 in 5 with type 2 diabetes experience diabetes distress that’s severe enough to affect their quality of life.

We’ve now teamed up with the NIHR to invest in research that we hope will transform the way we care for diabetes distress in the UK and make it a part of everyday diabetes care. This is the third time we’ve joined forces with the NIHR to plug some of the biggest research gaps that exist in diabetes care.

We’re asking scientists to apply for our funding and come up with ideas for projects that look at how diabetes distress can be prevented, and how to identify it quicker and treat it better when it does happen.

Lisa Gough lives with type 1 diabetes and helped to shape this funding call. She said:

“Diabetes needs to be treated more holistically. It’s an all-consuming, never-ending condition. We are often treated as just our HbA1c's and not a person living with this unrelenting condition. Things need to change, as without good mental health you cannot manage your diabetes.”

Anna Morris, our Assistant Director of Research, said:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership again with the NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme. Diabetes can be relentless, and the emotional wellbeing of those living with the condition must be a priority.

“This new funding call will help to galvanise the research community to find new strategies to identify and prevent diabetes distress, and make a real difference to the lives of people with diabetes.”

Rajinder Flora, Assistant Director for NIHR Programme Grants, said:

"It's vital that diabetes research meets the needs of people with diabetes, and that's why this particular funding call is so important - it will help to tackle diabetes-related distress that we know affects so many people living with the condition."

If you’re a researcher, find out more about the call and how to apply by 30 November 2022.


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