Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Learning to live with illness: experiences of persons with recent diagnoses of diabetes mellitus
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.
Karolinska institutet.
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 25, no 3, 558-566 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The process of learning to live with an illness is complex. By better understanding the learning process for persons with diabetes in the early stage of the illness, the role of the health care can be shown.

Aim: To reach an understanding of how learning to live with diabetes is experienced in the first 2 months after diagnosis.

Method: A qualitative descriptive design was used, and interviews were conducted. Thirteen participants with a recent diagnosis of diabetes were included and asked to narrate about their experience of living with diabetes. Qualitative inductive content analysis was used.

Findings: Four themes emerged: ‘taken over by a new reality’, ‘the body plays a role in life’, ‘different ways of learning’ and ‘the healthcare service as a necessary partner’.

Conclusion: People with short-term experience of the illness gained knowledge through personal resources such as their own experience and self-reflection. The learning process includes an inner dialogue between the self, the body and the life. Participants were concerned with grasping a new reality and understanding a different self and body where lifestyle changes and uncertainty were present. When health care was accessible and sensitive to their needs, those with short-term experience of diabetes chose the staff as key players in the early stages of their life with diabetes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 25, no 3, 558-566 p.
Keyword [en]
Nursing, Qualitative content analysis, Interview, Patient learning, Patient education, Diabetes mellitus, Chronic illness
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-1219DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00864.xPubMedID: 21244458OAI: diva2:422825
Available from: 2011-06-14 Created: 2011-06-14 Last updated: 2015-06-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Living with diabetes: a lifelong learning process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Living with diabetes: a lifelong learning process
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Living with diabetes, as a lifelong illness, is interlaced with learning and to face continual changes. However, the role of time in this learning process is not yet well understood. The overall aim of the thesis was to gain a deepened understanding of learning to live with diabetes for those recently diagnosed and over a three year period. The thesis, involving four studies where qualitative inductive content analysis (I, III) and phenomenological hermeneutical interpretation (II, IV) were used, has a lifeworld approach and a qualitative and longitudinal design. Thirteen persons, recently diagnosed with diabetes (type I or II), were interviewed on three different occasions over a three year period. All interviews focused on the experience of living with diabetes and situations where diabetes had to be taken into account. The aim of study I was to reach an understanding of how learning to live with diabetes is experienced in the first 2 months after diagnosis. The findings revealed to be taken over by a new reality, with a body that played a role in life with the health care service as a necessary partner. The aim of study II was to illuminate the meaning of learning to live with diabetes three years after being diagnosed. The findings revealed learning as making decisions through use of different sources of information and as solving the life-puzzle – a delicate balance to create a desired life. The aim of study III was to identify patterns in learning when living with diabetes, from recently being diagnosed, and over a 3-year period. In the findings five patterns were identified illuminating different learning processes emerging over time. A longer time living with diabetes did not per se mean increased satisfaction in living well with illness or increased confidence in understanding one’s own needs. The aim of the IV study was to illuminate the meanings of trigger situations in learning to live with diabetes. The findings revealed trigger situations, such as being encumbered by vulnerability and temporality in unsustainable situations with an unpredictable body and a life involving new concerns for the future. The thesis conducted that learning was an informal and ongoing everyday process in life. Time living with diabetes meant both an increased mastery of a changed life situation, but also increased difficulties in achieving well-being and with a dependency on health care. Hence, health care interventions must adhere to the individual’s needs and not be based on duration of illness. Understanding the body and the role of health care, as well as what facilitates and hampers learning, changed with time. It is therefore important that health care personnel illuminate the individual understanding and experiences of those living with diabetes as this was found to be important for the learning process as well as for their sense of well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Karolinska institutet, 2015. 81+bilagor p.
Diabetes, Lifelong illness, Learning process, Transition, Self-management, Triggers, Lifeworld
National Category
urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-4751 (URN)978-91-7549-814-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-03-06, Aulan, Stigbergsgatan 30, Stockholm, 09:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-06-26 Created: 2015-06-26 Last updated: 2015-06-26Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(262 kB)87 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 262 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Kneck, ÅsaFagerberg, Ingegerd
By organisation
Department of Health Care Sciences
In the same journal
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 89 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 209 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link