In May and June of 2021, Diabetes Canada commissioned a patient and caregiver survey in order to inform Diabetes Canada’s future advocacy, policy and strategies. The survey was also conducted to understand the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on people affected by diabetes and their health, how they have managed and adapted, and their needs going forward. A total of 780 people responded.
This survey was conducted on SurveyMonkey and available to the public between May 14 and June 17, 2021. It was publicized on Diabetes Canada’s social media channels, through partners and via e-blast.
- Like other Canadians, COVID-19 has been a stressor for respondents, many of whom report heightened concern about contracting the disease given the additional risk that is posed by living with diabetes and feelings of isolation or loneliness.
- Most have not had struggles with accessing medications or health care.
- A substantial minority have experienced added financial worries since the onset of COVID-19 that affect their ability to manage their diabetes.
- Respondents are quite split on level of concern for personal physical, mental and emotional health, and on experience of feelings of anxiety and isolation.
- A third of respondents have had medical appointments canceled or deferred, but luckily that has not affected the health of most of them adversely, though it has been stressful for many.
- About half of respondents have had virtual medical visits since the pandemic started, which they have overwhelmingly enjoyed.
- Most would prefer more virtual visits in future, continuing after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A majority support provincial and territorial shifts to virtual care.
- Roughly three-quarters of respondents have received one of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with roughly 10% fully vaccinated and a similar amount not yet vaccinated.
- Attitudes toward the vaccine were overwhelmingly positive and hopeful, with many respondents also expressing frustration with governments’ rollout, communication, and lack of prioritization for people living with diabetes.
- Responses show overwhelmingly that Diabetes Canada plays a critical role in patients’ lives by providing them with a trusted source of information, a sense of community and a “voice” through our advocacy.
- Our digital communications resources are the go-to source of information and advice for many, with an increasing emphasis on digital education content.
- Conferences and D-Camps, which provide a sense of connection and community to many, are highly valued by the smaller cohort they serve.
- Most felt that if Diabetes Canada weren’t there, it would be a shocking and significant loss to the diabetes community.
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