The lived experience of diabetes: conceptualisation using a metaphor

Youngson, Annabel ORCID logo ORCID: , Cole, Fiona, Wilby, Helen ORCID logo ORCID: and Cox, Diane ORCID logo ORCID: (2015) The lived experience of diabetes: conceptualisation using a metaphor. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78 (1). pp. 24-32.

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Introduction: It is important for healthcare professionals to understand the reality of living with diabetes in order to better engage and enable people to self-manage. The purpose of this research was thus a preliminary exploration of the lived experience of diabetes.

Method: This qualitative study involved seven people with a diagnosis of type 1, type 2 or pre-diabetes. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews and analysed using a phenomenological approach including the use of metaphor. Findings were shared with participants using a felted metaphor of charting a course of health and wellbeing through a choppy sea.

Findings: Themes explored within the elements of the metaphor included the boat (self-identity, control, balance, compliance and empowerment, emotions), the sea (physical and social environment, lifestyle, life events), the course (information gathering, change, self-action) and the boatyard (relationships with healthcare providers).

Conclusion: For those with type 1, type 2 and pre-diabetes, the elements of charting a course of health and wellbeing through a choppy sea are very much focused on the person in their own context, impacted by their environment, life stage, occupations and attitudes to diabetes self-management, all of which fall within the remit of occupational therapy.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1477-6006
Departments: Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 12:50
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 13:32


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