A new report highlights the unique challenges children and young people from marginalised communities face when managing type 1 diabetes. The condition is often diagnosed in late childhood or adolescence, requiring young people to suddenly adapt to a lifetime of insulin shots, blood sugar monitoring, carb counting, and more. For young people already facing discrimination or socioeconomic challenges, this transition can be even more difficult.
The report from the Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH) reviewed existing literature on young people’s perspectives on living with diabetes. While many studies explored the general youth experience, few focused specifically on marginalised groups. Evidence suggests these young people encounter similar issues as their peers but to an even greater degree, including heightened stigma around the condition.
To better understand these young people’s experiences, AYPH collaborated with the Race Equality Foundation and RCPCH &Us to speak directly with young people from minority ethnic communities across England and Wales managing type 1 diabetes.
These young people acknowledged the benefits of diabetes management technology but also its challenges. Language barriers made the tech harder to access and learn for some families. Making devices and apps more engaging for young people was another common request.
Key recommendations from the participation work include:
– Increasing accessibility of diabetes tech for diverse and disadvantaged families
– Creating more diabetes info by and for young people
– Providing more opportunities for peer engagement
– Improving outreach to hard-to-reach families
– Raising public awareness about type 1 diabetes in youth spaces
By spotlighting the voices of marginalised young people living with type 1 diabetes, the report aims to promote more inclusive and supportive care. Addressing these young people’s unique needs will be critical for helping them transition into successful self-management.
Find out more in the engagement report, scoping review and infographic summarising the findings.