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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2019 Apr;150:90-98. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2019.02.025. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Work matters: Diabetes and worklife in the second diabetes attitudes, wishes and needs (DAWN2) study.

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Diabetes Management Research, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:
Diabetes Management Research, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA; Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway.



The aim was to understand diabetes-related barriers and successes that people with diabetes (PWD) have in the context of work outside the home.


The DAWN2 survey of adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus contained open-ended items about living with diabetes. All responses to these questions were reviewed and references to worklife were extracted for analysis. An emergent coding schema was developed and validated by two independent coders (kappa = 0.875).


In total, 328 PWD wrote about work, 93 (28%) with type 1 and 235 (72%) with type 2, of whom 90 took insulin. Analysis generated five themes: (1) Work as context for learning about diabetes; (2) Work as an arena for personal achievement and self-identity with diabetes; (3) The demands of work conflict with the demands of diabetes self-care; (4) Discrimination and stigma in the context of work; and (5) Social support in the context of work. Several of these themes identify challenges relating to the impact of diabetes upon work, and vice-versa. However, coping strategies and supportive social relations generated affirmative psychosocial experiences.


The challenges that diabetes, its treatment, and its complications can have for working adults highlights the importance of social support in the work environment.


Psychosocial experience; Self-management; Social support; Work

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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