ACBRD celebrates 10 year milestone

Professor Jane Speight

The Australian centre that has put the psycho-social and behavioural aspects of diabetes in the spotlight is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Since 2010, the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) in Melbourne has been focusing on what it is like for people to live with diabetes – and how to improve both health and quality of life.

To mark its anniversary, the ACBRD has released a 10-year progress report.

Professor Jane Speight, Foundation Director of the ACBRD says it has been important to look how people with diabetes think, feel and act, rather than just the clinical indicators.

“Diabetes is not just a condition defined by numbers and biomedical risk factors; it places a high self-care and emotional burden on the individual. Through the ACBRD’s work, the emotional wellbeing and quality of life of people with diabetes is being considered more widely.”

The ACBRD was established as a collaboration between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University in May 2010.

Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett, who is also a current member of the ACBRD management committee, says the ACBRD has become a world leader on language in diabetes, on research into the extent of stigma and discrimination in diabetes, and on emotional and mental health issues.

“Diabetes Victoria is proud of our collaboration with Deakin University in funding and supporting the ACBRD. We look forward to more high-quality and impactful research from the ACBRD in this important area over the next 10 years.”

Looking back on the achievements of the past decade, the Professor Speight says she is pleased with the progress made but aware there is still so much more to do.

“Our research will focus on three interacting themes – optimal emotional health, optimal physical health, a supportive environment – and our work will be guided by three key questions: What matters? What works? What translates?” she says.

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