DAWN™ is about Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs. Initiated by Novo Nordisk in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and an international advisory panel of leading diabetes experts and patient advocates in 2001, the first DAWN™ study became the largest study of its kind carried out to uncover the psychosocial challenges faced by people with diabetes and the people helping them, and explore new avenues for improving care. The study was undertaken in response to the fact that despite the availability of effective therapies, less than half of people with diabetes were achieving adequate glycaemic control. It was realised by the partnering organisations and experts that new global and national knowledge was needed, taking a 360° view, to explore the barriers limiting more effective delivery of diabetes care and ongoing support to those in need. At that time there were no global studies like this, focusing on the non-medical attitudinal and psychosocial aspects of diabetes management in multiple countries.
The DAWN™ study set out to identify the barriers and facilitators of effective self-management and to shed light on the wishes and needs of people with diabetes and their healthcare providers. Through the strong endorsement of key organisations and thought leaders in the field, DAWN™ grew into a global framework of studies and collaborative initiatives, translating the insight gained from the DAWN™ study into a wide range of actions including publications, advocacy, new research and sharing of best practices. Several multinational efforts were undertaken in follow-up to the DAWN™ study, including the DAWN™ Youth study on the needs of children and young people with diabetes and their families, DAWN™ surveys in Asia, and the DAWN™ MIND initiative, facilitating monitoring of wellbeing of people with diabetes as part of their regular diabetes care. Since the original study, the DAWN™ study findings have been cited by more than 300 scientific publications worldwide.
The DAWN™ advocacy programme works in partnership with other organisations in the diabetes community worldwide to call for concerted action to promote people-centred diabetes care and overcome the psychosocial barriers to effective self-management. It offers understanding that has since been built into national and international care guidelines, and inspired practical tools and best practices across the world. Among these are national training programmes for primary care physicians on the psychological aspects of care, and quality-of-life questionnaires for people with diabetes that are now used by many countries in routine health evaluations. In 2011, a new era of the DAWN™ initiative begins with the launch of the 18-country DAWN™ 2 study.