Diabetes: charting a course of health and wellbeing in the sea of life

Youngson, Annabel ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1482-0029 , Cox, Diane ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2691-6423 , Wilby, Helen ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6976-2052 and Cole, Fiona (2014) Diabetes: charting a course of health and wellbeing in the sea of life. In: College of Occupational Therapists 38th Annual Conference and Exhibition, 3-5 June 2014, Brighton, UK.

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Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/bjod/77/8_suppl


In the UK 2.9 million people are diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated further 850,000 people may not be aware that they have this condition (Diabetes UK, 2012). The impact on health and social care costs is significant, with increased risk of further chronic complications, as well as considerable personal difficulties for the individual and their family. The aim of this study is to describe the lived experience of those with type 1, type 2 and pre-diabetes, to ascertain what helps or hinders successful self-management in relation to lifestyle. This qualitative study forms the first part of the first author’s doctoral thesis enquiring into the role of occupational therapy in meeting the demands of this health issue, to promote and drive change in approaches to prevention and self-management. Following ethical approval from the University of Cumbria, seven people with type 1, type 2 or a diagnosis of pre-diabetes were recruited using a self-selecting convenience sample. Digitally recorded unstructured interviews focussed on the lived experience of each participant and were analysed using qualitative mixed methods, including the use of creative metaphor. Findings have revealed the complex interplay between the person and their life circumstances when managing or attempting to prevent diabetes. Examples will be given of participants’ stories and their feelings about living with, or with the threat of, diabetes. The contribution of creative metaphors in analysis will also be discussed and how this shaped the next stage of the research. Diabetes is not an easy condition to control. An in-depth understanding of the pressures of living with (or with the threat of) diabetes will enable occupational therapists to take a specific occupational, rather than medical, approach to enabling people to manage successfully in the context of their particular lifestyle, and to drive change in this area.

Diabetes UK (2012) Diabetes in the UK 2012. Key statistics on Diabetes. London: Diabetes UK.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Additional Information: Bel is in the second year of her doctoral research at the University of Cumbria and has been practising as an OT for 14 years. Diane is Professor of Occupational Therapy and Research Coordinator of Faculty of Health and Science, University of Cumbria, with a special interest in fatigue management. Session 3.3.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 13:39
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 12:46
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4755


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