n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Self-management experiences of persons living with diabetes mellitus type 2

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Diabetes mellitus (DM) type 2 is a progressive disease that has the potential of negatively affecting virtually all the systems of the body, causing debilitating and life-threatening complications if blood glucose levels are not controlled. A high level of self-management is required in order to control blood glucose levels and prevent or delay the onset of complications, which may have severe physical, psychological and financial implications for the individuals and their families. As no research on the experiences of persons living with DM type 2 was previously conducted in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, a qualitative, descriptive, exploratory and contextual study was conducted between January and April 2009. Nineteen participants were purposively sampled from both the private and public health care sectors. The following themes emerged from the data collection: persons living with DM type 2 experience a wide range of emotions on initial diagnosis; gradually they experience an acceptance and acknowledgment of their condition; persons living with DM type 2 have definite opinions on the concept of self-management; persons living with DM type 2 acknowledge both positive and negative factors that influence self-management, and they expressed views on how professional nurses can assist them in achieving self- management. Recommendations included the following: persons diagnosed with DM type 2 should take a leading role in decisions regarding management of their condition; an ongoing patient education process should include periodic reinforcements of lifestyle management; qualified diabetes nurse educators should be employed at health care facilities, both in the public and private sector; and finally, specialised courses covering all areas of management of DM type 2 should be more readily available to health care workers.

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