Shared experiences with diabetes help with your HbA1c

Research has concluded that online peer support communities for people living with diabetes helps them achieve their HbA1c targets.

COVID breaks up some groups

Even in Australia, which has controlled the virus, COVID-19 made it difficult for face-to-face diabetes support groups to meet. Many have not met since last year and, as a result, some have disbanded.

Historically, Peer Support Groups proved invaluable in regional and remote Queensland where health services are not easily available.

Support groups helped fill that gap.

Online communities

The availability of diabetes care across Queensland today has increased and so has support offered through online communities.

A research scoping review and gap analysis sought to identify benefits and negative consequences of diabetes online communities. Benefits were categorised along the lines of clinical, behavioural, psychosocial and community benefits.

Research says ‘highly beneficial’

The 2019 study was published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. It revealed that diabetes online communities “are highly beneficial with relatively few negative consequences”.

Online communities include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and online forums.

Target range in HbA1c

Researchers noted a relationship between high engagement with online communities and achieving target range in HbA1c.

The most frequently mentioned topic among online community members was the importance of shared experience. It provided a sense of normalcy and validated their life experience.

Follow this link to read about the outcomes of the study in more depth.

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