October 19, 2017
Health care providers should employ neutral, nonjudgmental language that puts a patient with diabetes before the disease to remove pervasive, negative labeling and, potentially, boost outcomes, according to a consensus statement released by the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
“While information exists on how to interact more effectively with people living with diabetes, there is very little discussion about the language we use in these encounters,” Jane K. Dickinson, PhD, RN, CDE, program director for the Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management at Teachers College, Columbia University, and colleagues wrote. “People experience both diabetes and the language of diabetes in context. Language is the principal vehicle for the sharing of knowledge and understanding. Words are immediately shaped into meanings when people hear or read them, and those meanings can affect how a person views him or herself.”