Author(s): Ritholz MD, Smaldone A, Lee J, Castillo A, Wolpert H,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify psychosocial issues related to diabetes, approaches to self-care, self-perceptions, and social interactions among insulin pump users with type 1 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Adult insulin pump users participated in focus groups loosely formed on the basis of A1C level. Transcripts of focus group meetings were coded into themes by five reviewers using NVivo2 qualitative software. RESULTS: Thirty adults with long-term diabetes participated in five focus groups: two with low mean +/-SD A1C (6.8 +/- 0.4\%), one with mid A1C (7.80 +/- 0.3\%), and two with high A1C (9.1 +/- 0.5\%). Three major themes were identified: impact on diabetes self-care, emotional reactions to the insulin pump, body image, and social acceptance. Participants who described the pump as a tool to meet glycemic goals also described a more active approach to diabetes and had better glycemic control; those who discussed the pump as a panacea described more passive self-care and had poorer glycemic control. Low A1C groups reported that starting the insulin pump reminded them of feelings they experienced at their initial diabetes diagnosis, whereas the high A1C groups did not report these feelings. Women were more concerned than men about body image and social acceptance with pump use. CONCLUSIONS: Active participation in self-care, realistic expectations of pump use, and emotional recall of diabetes diagnosis were associated with better glycemic control. Interventions to improve diabetes management with pump use should include evaluation and discussion of active versus passive approaches to self-care, recall of diabetes diagnosis, expectations of the pump, and pump-related self-consciousness and body image concerns. The roles of these factors in optimal diabetes management warrant further investigation.
This article was published in Diabetes Care
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals