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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Experience of family function, family involvement, and self-management in adult patients with type 2 diabetes: A thematic analysis

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  • Birgitte B Bennich
  • Lene Munch
  • Dorthe Overgaard
  • Hanne Konradsen
  • Filip K Knop
  • Michael Røder
  • Tina Vilsbøll
  • Ingrid Egerod
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AIM: To describe the patient's experience of family function and its importance in diabetes-related self-management.

BACKGROUND: Many patients fail to reach the targeted glycemic level due to low self-management adherence. Knowledge is needed regarding the impact of family function on diabetes self-management.

DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive design.

METHODS: A purposive sample of 20 patients with type 2 diabetes. Data were collected in March-June 2017 via audio-recorded semi-structured interviews, field notes and Eco-maps. Analysed using thematic framework matrix and thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Four themes were identified: (1) Downplaying disease. The disease was trivialized creating a barrier to family involvement; (2) Second guessing. When diabetes was not discussed, patient and family made their own assumptions; (3) Going it alone. The participants preferred sole disease responsibility to maintain usual family life; (4) No regrets. The participants managed their disease with medications only to maintain family cohesion and 'the good life'.

CONCLUSION: The participants in our study downplayed the consequences of type 2 diabetes and chose to control their disease medically rather than by lifestyle changes. They renounced family involvement to maintain their lifestyle and promote family cohesion.

IMPACT: During clinical check-ups, patients should be encouraged to involve their family in lifestyle changes. Healthcare professionals need to recognize illness- and treatment beliefs and the impact of family function in disease management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)621-631
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

    Research areas

  • beliefs, diabetes type 2, family function, glycaemic control, HbA1c, lifestyle, nursing, patient, qualitative, self-management

ID: 58277224