The internal realities of individuals with type 2 diabetes – a functional framework of self-management practices via grounded theory approach

Yogarabindranath Swarna Nantha, Shamsul Haque, Azriel Abisheg Paul Chelliah

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background An upward trend is observed in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (T2D) in South-East Asian and Western Pacific regions. These patterns incur a costly health burden to developing nations around the world. A clear understanding of the mechanics behind self-management practices of T2D patients might help overcome this impasse. This information can help unlock specific problem areas that warrant specific intervention. We aim to uncover prevailing T2D self-management habits and its deviations from optimal behaviour. Methods We adopted a Grounded Theory approach to guide in-depth interviews (IDI) with T2D patients and healthcare providers (HCP) at a regional primary care clinic in Malaysia. Twenty-four T2D patients and 10 HCPs were recruited through purposive sampling to examine their inner psychological narratives related to self-management practices. 2 focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted as a part of the data triangulation process. Results A functional framework for self-management practices in T2D patients was developed. Self-management behavior was characterized by 2 major processes– 1) helpful and, 2) unhelpful practices. Self-efficacy, taking responsibility and being rational define helpful behaviour in these patients. On the other hand, unhelpful traits (neglect, poor restraint, and experimentation) often trigger violations with regards to medication compliance and therapeutic lifestyle changes. Conclusions We outlined a roadmap that navigates through the positive and negative mindset in relation to self-management practices of T2D patients. These results highlight the importance of devising individualized strategies by taking into account the personal challenges, emotions, and motivations that define the inner self of the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0225534
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019

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