Learning to Cope with Hypoglycemia for Patients with Diabetes

Abstract

Background: The fear of hypoglycemia may be an important barrier to people adopting regimens that closely control blood glucose levels and decrease long-term complications. To develop patient-centered education for people who experience hypoglycemia an understanding of their experiences with hypoglycemia is needed.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the problem-solving of people with diabetes in management of hypoglycemia.
Design: Qualitative study using semi structured interviews.
Settings: Participants were recruited from two study sites in northern Taiwan. One site was a small urban public health clinic and the other site was a large teaching hospital.
Participants: The study population consisted of 21 participants treated with insulin and with hypoglycemic episodes in the previous 3 months.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted from June 2010 to May 2011. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Open-coding methods were used to identify common concepts among participants. Common concepts were grouped into categories with similar properties and dimensions.
Results: The emerging process of learning to cope with hypoglycemia shows that participants usually started using problem tendency, problem definition, goal setting, coping strategies, and verification.
Conclusions: This study can help health care professionals and researchers develop educational programs to improve hypoglycemia self-management. Enhancing hypoglycemic control skills in patients whose current skills are not effective may promote a positive problem orientation.



Author Information
Fei Ling Wu, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2013
Stream: Psychology

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