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Dickinson & Guzman Part 1, Language of Diabetes

In part 1 of this Exclusive Interview, Drs. Dickinson and Guzman talk with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA meeting in San Diego, California about the importance of language as it is used in reference to and when speaking with people with diabetes.

Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE is the Program Director and faculty for the solely online Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management program at Teachers College Columbia University. Susan Guzman, PhD is a clinical psychologist specializing in diabetes. Her clinical and research focus areas include overcoming barriers to management, family issues, and promoting attitudes that support living well with diabetes, from diagnosis throughout the lifespan.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve: This is Steve Freed with Diabetes in Control and we’re here at the American Diabetes Association 77 Scientific Session 2017. We are here to present you some really exciting interviews with some of the top endos from all across the world. We have two special guests with us today. We have Jane Dickinson, RN, PhD CDE and Susan Guzman, PhD. It’s kind of an interesting combination and maybe we can start off with Jane and tell us a little bit about what you do.

Jane: Sure, so I’m a nurse and diabetes educator and I oversee and teach in the solely online master of science in diabetes education in management at Teachers College which is the Graduate School of Education Health in Psychology at Columbia University.

Steve: Who do you teach?

Jane: It’s an interprofessional program, so we have students who represent all different disciplines; all the disciplines who represent diabetes educators basically.

Steve: Most of them are nurses, I presume?

Jane: No, not even most of them. We have nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, PT’s, social workers, health educators…

Steve: Family practitioners?

Jane: …we have a cardiologist, optometrist, exercise physiologist, you name it.

Steve: Susan, tell us a little about what you do.

Susan: So, I am a clinical psychologist and I specialize in diabetes and I work at the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, which is a nonprofit organization that’s devoted to the emotional and behavioral aspects of diabetes?

Steve: Maybe we can start off with what is the language of diabetes?

Jane: Well, we’re giving a talk on Sunday about why language matters in diabetes and we were asked to give this talk because the ADA and the AADE are working together on a language paper, and the reason that language matters and diabetes is because words are part of people’s context and people shape meaning in their experience with diabetes based on the messages that they hear around them.

Steve: How did you get interested in the language of diabetes?

Susan: I have been interested in the language of diabetes since my first day working in diabetes as a training psychologist, so I started rounding with the medical teaching team on people who were admitted with some diabetes-related medical problem at the hospital. When we would go into the room, the physicians would start talking about people like “non-compliant” and “in denial” and using words that I found kind of surprising. And as a psychologist my job is to listen. When I pulled up a chair and listened to their stories, I heard a lot of good reasons why people were struggling and I realized words like “non-compliant” didn’t describe the problem at all.

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