People with diabetes often encounter stigma in the form of negative social judgments, stereotypes and prejudice, which can adversely affect emotional, mental and physical health, self-care, access to healthcare and social and professional opportunities. On average, four in five adults with diabetes experience diabetes stigma and one in five experience discrimination due to diabetes in healthcare, education, and employment.
Diabetes stigma and discrimination are harmful, unacceptable, unethical, and counterproductive. Collective leadership is needed to proactively challenge, and bring an end to, diabetes stigma and discrimination. To help achieve this, an international multidisciplinary expert panel conducted rapid reviews and participated in a three-round Delphi survey process. The group achieved consensus on 25 statements of evidence and 24 statements of recommendations.
The consensus is that diabetes stigma is driven primarily by blame, perceptions of burden or sickness, invisibility and fear or disgust.