Healthcare professional awareness of eating disorders in people with type 1 diabetes: a staff survey




type 1 diabetes, eating disorders, diabulimia, insulin omission, healthcare professionals


Background: People with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of eating disorders. ‘Diabulimia’, ‘Syndrome of Insulin Omission’ and ‘Type 1 diabetes and Disordered Eating’ (T1DE) are all terms used to describe the omission or restriction of insulin in type 1 diabetes for fear of weight gain. For consistency, Type 1 diabetes and Disordered Eating (T1DE) is used throughout this article. The condition is associated with a significant increase in morbidity and mortality but is not yet recognised as a unique entity.

Aim: To determine healthcare professional awareness and knowledge of eating disorders in type 1 diabetes.

Methods: A short, cross-sectional, online healthcare professional survey across primary, secondary and community settings.

Results: Healthcare professional confidence is low when it comes to recognising and supporting people with T1DE, but there is an interest in learning more.

Conclusion: The findings from this study support strategies to improve healthcare professional awareness of T1DE.

Author Biography

Sarah Brewster, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Diabetes and Endocrine Registrar (St6) and Clinical Academic Fellow 

Research and Development Department, Tom Rudd Unit, Moorgreen Hospital, Botley Rd, West End, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 3JB


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Original Research