Urgent need for social and psychological support for young people with diabetes

Novo NordiskA global survey studying children with diabetes has identified a failure of current healthcare systems to give adequate social and psychological support for young people with diabetes. The current lack of support often leads to poor control of their disease resulting in long-term health complications.

The final results of the DAWN (Diabetes, Attitudes, Wishes and Needs) Youth survey were released at the 4th International DAWN Summit taking place last week in Budapest, Hungary. The survey covered young people with diabetes, parents or caregivers of at least one child with diabetes and paediatric healthcare professionals. More than 6,700 respondents from the following eight countries participated: Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain and USA.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood and can strike children at any age. Today, more than 200 children a day develop diabetes and the disease poses a severe burden for these children and their families as it affects them physically, mentally and socially.

"In order to improve health outcomes, a transformation is required in the understanding and perceptions of the psychosocial issues faced by all people with diabetes," says Professor Martin Silink, IDF president.

The DAWN Youth survey reveals four key areas for urgent action:

  • Improve support for children with diabetes in schools
  • Nine out of 10 children with diabetes lack support at school.
  • Promote age-appropriate education and psychosocial support
  • Only two out of 10 healthcare professionals routinely evaluate the psychosocial needs of the young people with diabetes and their families in their care.
  • Enhance parents and family-centred care and support
  • Four out of 10 parents and caregivers regularly felt overwhelmed by their child’s diabetes.
  • Facilitate peer support and networking through group activities and socialising with other young people with diabetes
  • Young people with diabetes as well as their parents and caregivers considered it important to talk to other young people with diabetes.

"An important goal of the DAWN Youth programme has been to better understand the needs of children with diabetes and their families. Psychological and emotional support is vital for everyone connected with diabetes. Novo Nordisk strongly believes that all young people with diabetes as well as their parents and families have a right to receive the best possible care and the chance to lead full and healthy lives," says Lise Kingo, executive vice president and chief of staffs at Novo Nordisk.

About DAWN Youth
DAWN Youth is a new global programme that has been created to explore the attitudes, wishes and needs of young people affected by diabetes and their families. The programme hopes to guide the wider diabetes community to address the unmet needs of young people with diabetes and their families.

Novo Nordisk in global partnership with International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) is now supporting the implementation of the survey findings into concrete national actions through national DAWN Youth boards, involving the different key stakeholders in each country to improve psychosocial support for people with diabetes through concerted advocacy, better practice sharing and concrete initiatives.

For more information and background about the DAWN Youth initiative please visit dawnyouth.com.

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 26,550 employees in 80 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For more information, visit novonordisk.com.