During World Diabetes Day 2022, online healthcare professionals (eHCPs) took the opportunity to spread information about the wider impact of diabetes on people with diabetes. Often, only the physical effects of diabetes are considered, including monitoring diet, measuring insulin and receiving treatments. However, some eHCPs used social media to discuss the impact of mental health and the negative repercussions the disease has on a person’s mental health.
Psychiatrist Dr Devashish Palkar described the vicious cycle of depression that affects some people with diabetes, leading to lifestyles which perpetuate the negative effects of diabetes. At the end of his thread, Dr Palkar shared an article detailing the link between stress and diabetes, and the potential correlation between high cortisol levels and effects on the body’s ability to produce insulin. The post was shared by 15 other eHCPs. One person with diabetes also questioned the impact of diabetes on her symptoms of depression, indicating that the effect on mental health is something that should not be overlooked by pharmaceutical companies or HCPs when treating people with diabetes.
— Dr. Devashish Palkar (@psychidiaries) November 14, 2022
— Anna (@Anna69395069) August 21, 2022
eHCPs facilitate a broader conversation relating to diabetes – particularly around mental health, allowing their peers and other stakeholders to participate in a #diabeteschat Twitter Space. Nurse James Ridgeway shared a poll asking people with diabetes about their experience discussing mental health during consultations. The poll results show that this is an important topic for people with diabetes but is often overlooked due to consultant time constraints. The #diabeteschat Twitter Space provided a forum to allow these conversations to take place, showing that it is important to both eHCPs and patients.
The analysis in this article is drawn from CREATION.co’s Global Top 50 Digital Opinion Leaders (DOL) 2023, which studied more than 320,000 posts from more than 50,000 online HCPs. Find out more about DOLs in Type 2 Diabetes in the T2D Exploration Webinar.