This paper is a report of a study of illuminating the meaning of 'learning to live with diabetes' 3 years after being diagnosed.
A changed situation, for example, in relation to living with diabetes, raises a need to understand. How time for experience contributes to this learning process for people living with diabetes is not yet well understood. It would therefore seem valuable to ask people, who have had diabetes over a similar length of time, to narrate their experience in relation to daily life situations in order to understand better how learning is established.
The study has a qualitative design.
A life world approach was used, with interviews being conducted with 13 people who had been diagnosed with diabetes 3 years earlier. Data were collected in 2007, and analyses were conducted using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method.
How a person experiences the physical body was found to be crucial in the learning process. If the body with its signals is understood it can be a tool for experiencing and understanding the world and oneself. Feeling insecure about one's own needs, and not trusting or understanding bodily signs, made participants dependent on others to make decisions for them.
This study showed that duration of illness was 'not' of importance for the understanding of living with diabetes. Living with diabetes 3 years after being diagnosed meant to experience both an overall balance in one's existence and a daily struggle.
To establish and evaluate a web-based educational and emotional resource for patients with diabetes and their family members.
A total of 47 365 user visits over a 21-month period to three internet discussion groups about diabetes were tracked for user activity, characteristics and level of satisfaction.
The primary domains of users were the US (70%) and Canada (4%). Of all users, 7.55% posted messages, while 92.45% read messages posted by others. The average length of use was 15 min 5 s. Forty-four per cent posted messages to the nutrition discussion, 38% posted messages to the motivational discussion, and 18% posted messages to the family discussion. The most common postings addressed nutrition (42%), the emotional impact of diabetes (18%), managing high or low blood glucose levels (10%), and complications (8%). Respondents to the satisfaction survey were 64% female, 43% were insulin and 37% non-insulin users. Eighty-four per cent were older than 30 years, 34% had recently diagnosed diabetes and 32% had diabetes > 10 years. Forty-three per cent visited more than three times. Seventy-nine per cent of all respondents rated participation in the chat as having a positive effect on coping with diabetes.
A professionally moderated internet discussion group is actively visited by a broad base of patients and families, and appears to be a useful strategy for engaging patients with chronic disease for emotional support and information exchange.