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Emotional impact of diagnosis

Nov 15, 2014

Many patients hold on to these emotions, so it is essential that educators recognize this and help them cope with the differing emotional stages.


The diagnosis is often shocking, and the most common reaction to it is anger. Anger then can lead to an attitude that may end in either fight or denial. Many people feel a great loss at the moment they realize that diabetes is incurable and requires intense therapy and management. Every newly diagnosed individual raises a question: Why me?

The process of diabetes education needs to consider the psychological impact that this chronic disease has on the individuals, as well as the interdisciplinary diabetes management team who also needs to deal with it. The emotional impact that the diagnosis may have on the family and the community of the person with diabetes is also something to take into consideration.

What kind of emotions have you seen at the point of diagnosis of people with diabetes and how do you deal with them?


Information about the moderator

Dr Maria Lidia Ruiz (MD) is a family physician and diabetologist. Currently, Dr Ruiz is the Director of School of Certified Diabetes Educators of the Argentine Society of Diabetes in Buenos Aires Argentina and a member of the IDF Consultative Section on Diabetes Education.


1) Clarke, A. (2003). The impact of diagnosis with diabetes: what does the literature say?

2) Davies, M. J., et al. (2008). Effectiveness of the diabetes education and self management for ongoing and newly diagnosed (DESMOND) programme for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: cluster randomised controlled trial.

3) Drexler, A. J. (2014). The most difficult issues to tackle at diagnosis and in the first year of diabetes.

4) Peyrot, M., et al. (2013). Diabetes Attitudes Wishes and Needs 2 (DAWN2): a multinational, multi-stakeholder study of psychosocial issues in diabetes and person-centred diabetes care.

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