Lena Jutterström´s research

Lena defended her thesis the third of may 2013.

Identifying turning points in diabetes self-management may support patient outcomes

The basic treatment of type 2-diabetes is adaptation of lifestyle including weight loss, physical activity and diet changes. Patients need time to accept the need for self-management activities. The aim of the study was to describe the process towards a turning points in self-management in type 2-diabetes.

Eighteen patients diagnosed with type 2-diabetes were by randomly selected asked to participate in narrative interviews which were analysed with qualitative content analysis.

The preliminary result reports that increasing symptoms, increasing insights, a gradual adaptation and normalization of self-care activities were elements in a process of integration that led to a sudden awareness about the need for change i.e. a turning point. This sudden awareness were expressed as being in a cross road, there is no return; being in a life and death struggle; it’s up to myself to decide; it’s possible for me to change the outcome. The result strengthens previous findings that emotional and existential aspects elicit change. If more attention in the patient reception is paid on emotional and existential aspects of having a disease, self-management is facilitated. Health professionals and diabetes nurses are ideally placed to support people and are important for identifying these elements in the process.

Read Lena´s thesis: Illness integration, self-management and patient-centred support in type 2 diabetes

Lenas e-mail: lena.jutterstrom@umu.se