Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes

Improving the health and quality of life of Australians affected by diabetes

How our research drives health reform

The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) works to provide a strong national focus for diabetes applied behavioural, psychological and social research.

ACBRD’s innovative research has highlighted the important role diabetes plays in issues such as emotional wellbeing, social stigma, language and communication, health beliefs, behavioural change, and the role of diabetes technologies. It has created new knowledge and developed evidence-based resources to translate research findings into policy, clinical practice and real health outcomes for people affected by diabetes. We are the only national research centre in the world focused on the behavioural and psychosocial aspects of diabetes.

Our objectives:

  • To be a national research centre for applied behavioural, psychological and social research in diabetes, creating knowledge and impact, and training the next generation of researchers and health professionals.
  • To be a national voice for applied behavioural, psychological and social issues in diabetes, raising awareness, and influencing policy and practice.
  • To be a national resource for policymakers, clinicians, researchers and people living with diabetes.

Our research areas

The centre has three broad research themes. These are designed to influence clinical practice and to inform health policy to improve the health and quality of life of Australians affected by diabetes.

Optimal physical health​

Many people experience challenges maintaining the various aspects of diabetes self-care that are important for achieving optimal health, such as taking medications or monitoring glucose levels. The aim of our research is to understand those challenges, including attitudes, beliefs and behaviours, and to identify how to better support people experiencing those barriers, so that they can sustain optimal physical health.​

A supportive environment

Managing diabetes requires self-care '24/7'. It is therefore important that people with diabetes have a supportive environment. This includes their family, friends, workplaces, health professionals and the wider society. The aim of our research is to explore and understand the unmet support needs of people with diabetes, and to improve how health professionals and society support people with diabetes.

Optimal emotional health

People with diabetes are managing a challenging and relentless condition. Every day, they balance diabetes self-care alongside other daily activities and priorities. Unsurprisingly, there is an emotional burden. Our research aims to shed light on various emotional problems related to living with diabetes and identify how to better support people experiencing these issues.

Explore our research​

Our partnerships

ACBRD is a partnership for better health between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University, established in 2010. We also work closely with Diabetes Australia, the Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.

Find out more about our partners

Let’s change the landscape of diabetes in Australia

We welcome all enquiries and requests from healthcare professionals, potential research collaborators, people with diabetes and their families, media and potential sponsors.

The centre conducts applied behavioural research to understand, highlight and improve both the health and quality of life of people living with diabetes.

Professor Jane Speight

Foundation Director, Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes

Our researchers

Professor Jane Speight

Professor Jane Speight is the Foundation Director and leads a large and varied program of research in Australia, as well as strong collaborations internationally. Professor Speight seeks to improve the quality of life and self-care of people with diabetes and to encourage healthcare professionals to better understand the impact of diabetes and its treatment from an individual’s perspective.

Dr Christel Hendrieckx

Dr Christel Hendrieckx is Deputy Director and conducts research into the psychological antecedents and consequences of hypoglycaemia, and the perceptions of people with type 1 diabetes about novel treatments and technologies. In addition to her research, Christel is actively involved in training health professionals in how to address the emotional aspects of living with diabetes.

Contact us

Stay in touch with us to hear about the latest study opportunities, research news and much more. Any questions? Get in touch.

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