Disclosure of type 1 diabetes at work among Finnish workers

© 2016 Diabetes UK.Aims: To determine which self-management factors and psychosocial work factors were associated with disclosing diabetes to colleagues, line managers and occupational health personnel among workers with Type 1 diabetes. Methods: A total of 767 working-aged respondents with Type 1 diabetes completed a Finnish cross-sectional survey named 'People with Type 1 Diabetes in Worklife'. Factor analysis was carried out, followed by logistic regressions to estimate the associations between self-management factors, psychosocial work factors and the likelihood of disclosure separately to colleagues, line managers and occupational health personnel. The models were adjusted for sociodemographic, diabetes-related and work-related variables. Results: A total of 52% of the respondents had disclosed their diabetes to their colleagues, 45% to occupational health personnel and 28% to their line manager. Receiving social support and having good psychosocial work ability were significantly associated with disclosure to colleagues, line managers and occupational health personnel. Relations at work were associated with disclosure to colleagues and the line manager. Furthermore, opportunity to self-manage diabetes at work was associated with disclosure to colleagues. Conclusions: Line managers and colleagues have a remarkable role to play in providing workplace support to workers with Type 1 diabetes. Disclosure of Type 1 diabetes should be encouraged as line managers can provide workers with the right support, implement work adaptations and facilitate job retention. As only half of respondents disclosed their Type 1 diabetes at work, further research is required into the reasons for and consequences of not disclosing a diagnosis.