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HND732 - Diabetes in Social and Psychological Contexts

Unit details

Year2017 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Previously coded as:HND632
Unit chair:

Rhonda Brown





Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin


The aim is to facilitate students to develop in-depth understanding of the meaning of living with diabetes for an individual and their family in the context of nursing, psychology, sociology and other health related disciplines. Students will explore a number of contemporary issues in diabetes education practice and in caring for people with diabetes. The issues are placed in the context of sociological and psychological theories, health promotion principles, and best practice guidelines in diabetes education, based on contemporary national and international research. The unit acknowledges that global economic imperatives and the local and global market place influences diabetes education. Within this context, the unit explores a number of trends that impact on future diabetes practice. 


This unit explores what it means to be diagnosed with diabetes; the problems of adjusting to a chronic illness and the role of family, friends and health professionals in that adjustment. The unit draws on nursing, psychological, and sociological perspectives to clarify the different problems that an individual with diabetes encounters and to formulate appropriate caring strategies. The unit addresses the psychosocial issues experienced by vulnerable groups in the community. The unit links contemporary diabetes practice to current research and provides a deep understanding of the links between practice, evidence-based practice and research.


The relationship between people with diabetes and health professionals and its impact on clinical outcomes underpins the unit, and strategies to facilitate good clinical communication, assessing health literacy, empowerment, and health promotion are provided. Students will explore a number of approaches to caring for people with diabetes and analyse their effectiveness.

The unit will cover:

  • The social and psychological construction of diabetes;
  • The psychosocial impact of diabetes on the individual and families will be discussed in relation to the MILES (Management, Management and Impact for Long-term Empowerment and Success) study and the DAWN (Diabetes, Attitudes, Wishes and Needs) study findings;
  • Psychological issues related to depression, anxiety, emotional well-being in diabetes care; identification of life transitions and their impact on individuals’ diabetes management with key aspects highlighted in relation to children, adolescents, young adults and older persons;
  • The concept of empowerment and its impact on self-care at the individual, family and community level in relation to managing diabetes;
  • The notion of motivational interviewing, mindfulness and health coaching as important tools to manage uncertain and ambiguous situations in diabetes management;
  • Clinical communication focusing on the impact of respect for individuals, good listening skills, non-judgemental behaviours, display of empathy, demonstration of good clinical knowledge and understanding individuals’ coping styles;
  • The diabetes educator’s role in in facilitating optimal communication with individuals with diabetes and their families;
  • Social media and its impact on communication between diabetes educators and individuals with diabetes and their families;
  • The diabetes educator’s role in promoting higher level of health literacy in the context of managing diabetes;
  • Inequalities in access to health care in the context of diabetes education with a focus on vulnerable groups in the Australian communities (Indigenous population, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Groups (CALD), individuals with learning difficulties, the homeless, individuals with substance dependency and individuals living in isolation);
  • International perspectives in diabetes management and education and their impact on the future role of diabetes educators with familiarisation documents from global diabetes organisations (International Diabetes Federation, American Diabetes Association); and
  • Research methodologies and relevance of diabetes research translated into contemporary diabetes practice.


Assessment task 1: Written assignment (2000 words) 40%

Assessment task 2: Written assignment (3000 words) 60%

Unit Fee Information

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