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Conversations on conversations: A TweetChat from IDF-WDC

  • Item type: Other
  • Country: Germany
  • Language: English
  • Author: Jaclyn Fonteyne, Social Media Specialist at Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Target audience: People with diabetes
  • Publication Date: Feb, 2016

Effective management of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the ultimate goal for patients and physicians, yet achieving it can seem a daunting and never-ending challenge. Looking beyond the obvious management steps of medical intervention and lifestyle changes, there is increasing research into what behaviours influence effective management, and in turn what techniques might lead to better outcomes.

In December, the Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company Diabetes Alliance hosted a TweetChat, supported by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), called ‘Understanding the behaviour behind managing type 2 diabetes’, held during the International Diabetes Federation World Diabetes Congress (IDF-WDC) in Vancouver.

What is a TweetChat?

A TweetChat is where a group of Twitter users meet online typically for an hour to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) to track the conversation. The unique hashtag for this TweetChat was #TalkT2D. A host or moderator will pose questions to prompt responses from participants and encourage interaction among the group.

The Tweetchat was led by two T2D experts - Dr Rosemary Leonard (@DrRosemaryL), a practising family physician and media doctor from the UK, and Mila Ferrer, Online Community Manager of the Diabetes Hands Foundation (@diabeteshf) and diabetes patient advocate.

The TweetChat explored how the behaviour of physicians and patients during early T2D conversations affects future management, in particular:

1. The influence physician-patient communication has on T2D management

2. The key moments at which these conversations make a difference

3. The positive impact effective conversations can have on T2D outcomes

During the course of the one-hour online discussion, there was a high level of engagement and a lively discussion where over 100 Twitter users sent over 500 tweets including #TalkT2D hashtag, reaching an estimated audience of over 6 million people on Twitter.

Key insights and some top tweets from the conversation are summarised below:

TweetChat insights

• Managing diabetes effectively requires a lot of time and attention - the more supported patients feel through conversations with their physician, the better their approach to management will be

• Encouraging and collaborative conversations between physicians and patients are vital at two key moments: (1) diagnosis, and (2) when additional medication is prescribed (‘add-on moment’)

• Clear communication helps patients to understand the importance of adhering to medication and making positive lifestyle changes; physicians can help patients to understand that every little helps in successful diabetes management – taking it from an unsurmountable challenge to something achievable

• Physicians can help patients to understand that lots of people require more than one type of medicine to manage their T2D because of the chronic and progressive nature of the disease

• Good conversations help patients to understand the serious complications that can arise from diabetes if it is not managed properly

Want to join the conversation?

It’s not too late to be part of the conversation! Look up #TalkT2D on Twitter and send a tweet using the hashtag - it would be great to hear your view!

Keen to find out more about the impact of early patient-physician conversations on T2D management?

The #TalkT2D TweetChat was part of the ongoing IntroDia™ Programme, which is being conducted by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company in partnership with the IDF. IntroDia™ includes the largest multinational survey to date investigating early conversations and has responses from over 10,000 individuals with T2D and more than 6,700 treating physicians from across 26 countries. If you would like to learn more about IntroDia™ and the data presented at IDF-WDC visit

By Jaclyn
Feb 12, 2016
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