Diabetes UK survey marking start of Diabetes Week 2018 reveals that 34% of people would ask the internet for medical advice rather than their GP
Published on Tuesday, 12th June 2018
An online poll of more than 2,000 people run by the UK health charity suggests that the internet is many people’s first choice for medical advice, rather than a trained professional.
Carried out by YouGov, on behalf of Diabetes UK, a poll to mark the start of Diabetes Week 2018 (which runs from Monday 11th to Sunday 17th June) has turned up some eye-opening results regarding how comfortable people are in talking about health concerns with various people in their lives.
Slightly less than a quarter of those questioned said they would be comfortable talking to their employer about health concerns. The percentages vastly increased where friends or loved ones were concerned: 75% of respondents said they’d feel comfortable talking about a friend of loved one’s health condition, while 65% said they’d be comfortable talking about a health condition of their own with a friend or loved one.
This year’s Diabetes Week theme is #talkaboutdiabetes and Diabetes UK is trying to use the awareness week to encourage and help people to have open, honest conversations about their condition with healthcare professionals, friends and family.
The charity’s top tips for these conversations are:
- There’s no such thing as a silly question – don’t be afraid to ask whatever’s on your mind;
- Go to your appointment with questions in mind – try writing them down or sending them to your healthcare team beforehand;
- Let your healthcare team know what you’d like to talk about from the start;
- Try and book a double appointment so you have plenty of time to talk about everything you’d like to, without having to rush;
- Be honest and make the most of your healthcare team’s expertise, even if the things you’d like to talk about make you feel a little uncomfortable.
‘Talking about diabetes can be hard,’ said Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK. ‘But for someone living with the condition, or caring for someone who does, it can mean getting the right treatment, ensuring your rights are protected at work, or making sure your child gets the best care at school.
‘That’s why being able to talk about diabetes, and having people to talk to about the condition, is so important.
‘This Diabetes Week, we want to help people live better with diabetes, by giving them tools and tips to start tricky conversations and get the support they really need.’
The charity has also prepared some top tips for healthcare professionals to help them talk to their patients about tricky topics:
- Be frank and use clear, simple language;
- Suggest your patient books a double appointment so that you can get through everything you need to talk about;
- Point your patients in the direction of the Diabetes UK helpline;
- Understand your parents’ day-to-day lives so as to build rapport with them and help put them at ease.