Author: Wong, Yee-man
Title: The lived experience of insulin-treated diabetic patients : a qualitative approach
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2001
Subject: Diabetics -- Rehabilitation
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Department of Nursing and Health Sciences
Pages: 307 p. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Despite the advances in medical science, diabetes mellitus is a chronic illness which requires life long medical treatment and life style adjustment by the patients. The complexity of treatment modality caused frustration of diabetic patients. A considerable number of research findings have indicated that diabetes affect psychosocial aspects of a person's life but they were mainly focused on Caucasians. Studies on the lived experience of Chinese insulin-treated diabetic patients are limited. This study is the first attempt to explore the lived experience of insulin-treated diabetic patients in Hong Kong and understand the ways they cope with the illness. A total of twelve insulin-treated diabetic patients were recruited. The selection of the participants was purposive, based on potential participants' ability to identify and openly discuss the lived experiences. Semi-structured interview using an interviewing guide provided the data collection method. The interview guide with back translation from a third person to ensure the accuracy in the original meaning was also given to a panel of experts for comments. The interviews were tape-recorded, and presented with verbatim transcriptions. A method of thematic analysis was employed and the transcribed words and phrases within the data were clustered into common themes. Two independent persons were invited to analyse the data. The findings were discussed among the researcher and the two independent persons. The clustered themes were identified and used to develop the textural descriptions of the lived experience of the participants. Based on the results, a conceptual framework of five domains namely physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural domain depicting the lived experience of insulin-treated diabetic patients was developed. It was found that the participants' responses, feelings and experiences were being affected by Chinese culture which plays a significant impact upon health and illness behaviour of the participants. Self-adjustment of insulin dose, amount of food taken and exercise regimen were frequently performed by the participants to achieve better diabetic control and decrease the chance of diabetic complications. Participants were worried the occurrence of diabetic complications which caused a lot of distress and frustration. Family support and sharing from other diabetic patients were viewed as important elements in the course of their illness to face the diabetes. The complexity of treatment regimen affected the social activities and working ability of the participants. Spiritual support and inspiring of hope provided the participants to cope with the illness. It was also noted that participants used both problem and emotion focused coping functions to deal with the illness. This study suggests that the diabetes care providers should address the patients' need and provide comprehensive education programmes. The education programmes should include the diabetes-specific coping and self-care skills. Future research should investigate the lived experience of the general population. A longitudinal qualitative study should be conducted to explore the meaning of life of insulin treated diabetic patients starting when diabetes is diagnosed till diabetes complications developed.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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