Press Release: Steno Diabetes Center Zealand and Enactlab will collaborate on disabilities and diabetes


The partners have teamed up to produce more knowledge and insight into about the relationship between disabilities and diabetes for people with cognitive and physical disabilities. Initially an overall mapping of the field will be conducted through interviews and user journey descriptions with people with disabilities and diabetes in order to gather knowledge for future efforts. 

Steno Diabetes Center Zealand (SDCS) and Enactlab have initiated a collaboration, that will create the foundation for future initiatives aimed at supporting prevention and treatment of diabetes for people with disabilities. Knowledge about the relationship between disabilities and diabetes is sparse, however, some groups of people with disabilities are thought to be more prone to developing diabetes due to lifestyle factors, body-composition and a complex relationship to the healthcare system.

For Liv Stubbe Østergaard, consultant at the SDCS, a first step is to gain more knowledge of how people with disabilities living with diabetes understand and cope with their diabetes, how the disease initially was discovered, and which contact points they have with the social- and healthcare system and the role of relatives and caregivers. This knowledge will be pivotal in developing future initiatives to support preventive and treatment measures.

– To me, it is pivotal that the mapping we conduct now will be the first step in developing and co-creating future initiatives and efforts for people with disabilities who also live with diabetes.

She also points out how important it is that the developed initiatives should make a practical difference in the everyday life of people with disabilities.

– In our collaboration the focus is that the research we conduct now leads to initiatives which are meaningful and sustainable both for the individual with diabetes, their relatives and the professionals working with both disability and diabetes.

Applying the lived experience
At Enactlab we are thrilled and excited about the collaboration. Especially the focus on the lived experience of the users with disability and diabetes resonates with us.

– In Enactlab it is important to include and engage the people with disability and diabetes into the process when we do interviews and research. For us, it is essential that we combine experiences from real everyday lives with scientific knowledge in order to make the developed initiatives meaningful, says Jacob Nossell, Head of Communication in Enactlab.

He also points to the documentation process in the project, where a short film will be produced, which will highlight some possible outcomes for the future initiatives.

The method is crucial 
When combining the lived experience and scientific knowledge, the method becomes crucial, as Kristian Martiny, Head of Research in Enactlab, elaborates:

– To be able to understand what it means to live with both disability and diabetes, and develop meaningful preventive and treatment initiatives, it is crucial that we apply a method where the research is conducted both bottom-up and top-down. Bottom-up with regards to the experiences of people living with disability and diabetes, and top-down in terms of the established research and the expertise of the social and health professionals working in the field.    

He says that this first phase of the collaboration is only the beginning. In the next phases of the process, the research and initiatives should be meaningfully designed and implemented in established institutions working with disability and diabetes.

Liv Stubbe Østergaard is consultant at the SDCS.

About SDCS:
SDCS is a decentralized center that supports and develops the treatment of diabetes at the individual hospitals and in medical practice throughout Region Zealand.

SDCS is a part of all the departments of the hospitals in Region Zealand that work with diabetes. The center works with the departments to disseminate knowledge as well as new treatment and prevention measures. SDCS also acts as a partner for general practice and the municipalities in the region.

// jQuery $("noscript").remove();