Tackling a problem that doesn't exit: The curious case of type 2 diabetes and work life


Work is an important aspect of daily life. Work is also proven to represent a challenge for people with diabetes, with epidemiological studies highlighting high levels of work-related morbidity.
Statistical associations highlight the challenges of managing diabetes in the context of work-life, but there is less evidence about underlying mechanisms. This is especially true for type 2 diabetes. Our study focused on generating knowledge about how people with type 2 diabetes experience work life, how it impacts upon work ability and how the demands of work impact on diabetes management.
Data were acquired in twelve individual interviews and three workshops (Participants = 18). Eligibility for participation were; of working age (25-65), diagnosed with type 2 diabetes whilst still active in the labour market and to have been in employment within the last five years.
Individual interviews were semi-structured and organized around a thematic question guide. The three workshops were organized in accordance with principles from ‘Design Thinking’.
All participants affirmed the importance of remaining in work in relation to well-being, and some believed that work structured their lives in a way which was supportive of diabetes management.
The challenging experiences which emerged in our study were congruent with studies examining work and type 1 diabetes. However, in contrast to people with type 1 diabetes, our participants were less inclined to acknowledge that diabetes impacted on their work lives. Some participants actively disassociated their experiences at work from their diabetes. Yet while explicit links between diabetes and work life were not always articulated, participants highlighted issues where the influence of diabetes could be inferred.
Disassociation of diabetes from other aspects of life has consequences. It limits perception of strains from balancing the demands of diabetes and work. Failure to perceive problems may delay remedial action.
Clinical guidelines and patient education courses for type 2 diabetes do not generally address the topic of work. If we strive to provide patient-centred care for people with type 2 diabetes we should do more to support apprehension and understanding of the condition in the context of everyday life, including work-life.
StatusUdgivet - 2018
BegivenhedEuropean Association for Communication in Healthcare - Porto, Portugal
Varighed: 1 sep. 20184 sep. 2018


KonferenceEuropean Association for Communication in Healthcare


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