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Type 2 diabetes Priority Setting Partnership

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Your priorities for Type 2 diabetes research

We're committed to giving people on the front line of diabetes a louder voice. We asked people living with Type 2 diabetes, their carers and healthcare professionals what questions they'd like scientists to answer. 

We had an incredible response from over 4,000 of you. With your help, we whittled down 8,000 ideas to create the top 10 priorities. And the results are now in.

Read the full Type 2 diabetes research priorities report (PDF, 2.2 MB) for more detail on each of these priorities, the journey to the top 10 and what we plan to do next to make sure your views count.

The top 10

  1. Can Type 2 diabetes be cured or reversed, what is the best way to achieve this and is there a point beyond which the condition can't be reversed?
  2. How do we identify people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes and help to prevent the condition from developing?
  3. What is the best way to encourage people with Type 2 diabetes, whoever they are and wherever they live, to self-manage their condition, and how should it be delivered?
  4. How do stress and anxiety influence the management of Type 2 diabetes and does a positive mental wellbeing have an effect?
  5. How can people with Type 2 diabetes be supported to make lifestyle changes to help them manage their condition, how effective are they and what stops them from working?
  6. Why does Type 2 diabetes get progressively worse over time, what is the most effective way to slow or prevent progression and how can this be best measured?
  7. Should diet and exercise be used as an alternative to medications for managing Type 2 diabetes, or alongside them?
  8. What causes nerve damage in people with Type 2 diabetes, who does it affect most, how can we increase awareness of it and how can it be best prevented and treated?
  9. How can psychological or social support be best used to help people with, or at risk of, Type 2 diabetes and how should this be delivered to account for individual needs?
  10. What role do fats, carbohydrates and proteins play in managing Type 2 diabetes, and are there risks and benefits to using particular approaches?

What will Diabetes UK do with the results? 

Your top 10 priorities will help us decide what Type 2 diabetes research to fund. We will make sure other research funders know how important your priorities are. This way, we can make research more relevant to people dealing with Type 2 diabetes every day. 

Why this matters

  • No one understands Type 2 diabetes better than those who live with it or care for those who do. This list will help researchers take your valuable views on board and ensure research makes a real difference to people with Type 2 diabetes.
  • Other medical charities have seen major benefits from finding research priorities this way. It will encourage investment in research.
  • It will help us to shape the future of Type 2 diabetes research. Other research funders recognise this priority setting process and it will inform the work of the Clinical Studies Groups.
  • It will direct research to where it’s needed most, by highlighting the top unanswered questions.  

Thank you

We want to say a massive thank you to the 4,000 people who helped us in our search for the Type 2 diabetes research priorities – one of the largest responses ever seen in a survey of this kind.

To find the top 10 priorities, we set up a Priority Setting Partnership, funded by Diabetes UK and overseen by a steering group. The steering group included people living with Type 2 diabetes, healthcare professionals, Diabetes UK and the James Lind Alliance. We would like to thank all of the following for their enormous amounts of hard work:

  • Mick Browne, Patient representative
  • Emily Burns, Diabetes UK
  • Desiree Campbell-Richards, Research Nurse at Newham University Hospital 
  • Ali Chakera, Consultant at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton
  • Katherine Cowan, James Lind Alliance Advisor
  • Ann Daly, Independent Information Specialist
  • Andrew Farmer, Professor of General Practice at the University of Oxford and Associate General Practitioner at South Oxford Health Centre
  • Sarah Finer, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Martin Jenner, Patient representative
  • Davina Krakovic-Patel, Diabetes UK
  • Paul McArdle, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow and Lead Clinical Dietitian at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Leanne Metcalf, James Lind Alliance Advisor
  • Anna Morris, Diabetes UK
  • Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK
  • Paul Robb, Patient representative
  • Elizabeth Robertson, Diabetes UK
  • Krishna Sarda, Diabetes UK
  • Kamini Shah, Diabetes UK
  • Jenny Stevens, Patient representative
  • Angelina Whitmarsh, Patient representative.
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