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Diet and physical activity in the self-management of type 2 diabetes: barriers and facilitators identified by patients and health professionals

  • Alison O. Booth (a1), Carole Lowis (a2), Moira Dean (a3), Steven J. Hunter (a4) and Michelle C. McKinley (a5)...
Abstract
Aim

To explore the views of individuals recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in relation to self-management of dietary intake and physical activity, and to compare these with the views of health professionals (HPs).

Background

Diabetes education has become a priority area in primary and secondary care, and many education programmes are now embedded within a patient's care package. There are few contemporaneous explorations of patients’ views about lifestyle self-management. Such research is vital in order to identify areas that require further support, refinement or enhancement in terms of patient education.

Methods

Focus groups were held with patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (n = 16, 38% female, aged 45–73 years). In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with HPs (n = 7). Discussions focussed on self-management specifically in relation to making dietary and physical activity changes. All discussions were tape recorded, transcribed and analysed by emergent themes analysis using NVivo to manage the coded data.

Findings

Barriers were divided into six main categories: difficulty changing well-established habits, negative perception of the ‘new’ or recommended regimen, barriers relating to social circumstances, lack of knowledge and understanding, lack of motivation and barriers relating to the practicalities of making lifestyle changes. HPs generally echoed the views of patients. In conclusion, even against a background of diabetes education, recently diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes discussed a wide range of barriers to self-management of diet and physical activity. The findings could help to provide HPs with a deeper understanding of the needs of recently diagnosed patients and may help refine current diabetes education activities and inform the development of educational resources.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Dr Alison O. Booth, Institute of Clinical Science, Nutrition and Metabolism Research Group, Centre for Public Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Block B (1st Floor), Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ, UK. Email: abooth@dekain.edu.au
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Primary Health Care Research & Development
  • ISSN: 1463-4236
  • EISSN: 1477-1128
  • URL: /core/journals/primary-health-care-research-and-development
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