Diabetes is All About Management, Exploring the Experiences of Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes within the Context of Dietary Self-Care


End date: 9 June, 2016 Project type: BSU Students' Master Thesis Project code: mhh13-1Q1 BSU Countries: Ghana Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Project coordinator: Rita Quist-Therson

Project summary

Background: There is an increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the world and countries like Ghana are grappling with this potential epidemic. In the management of type 2 diabetes, about 95% of the care is provided by the patient(1) and controlling diet is key. According to research, pa-tients find it difficult to follow the recommended guidelines. This study seeks to better under-stand the experiences of both patients and dietitians with regards to dietary modifications.
Objective: To investigate motivations and barriers to dietary self-care among dieticians and people living with type 2 diabetes who attend dietary counselling at Trust Hospital in Accra.
Study design: This was an analytical qualitative field based study using a phenomenological ap-proach. The research looked at the management of type 2 diabetes and diet through the lenses of patients and their counsellors. Participants were recruited using purposive sampling strategy from the Trust Hospital, Accra. A total of ten patients and three staff, participated in the study. Partici-pant observations were conducted during diet counselling and general procedures.
Findings: Type 2 diabetic patients in managing diet and diabetes, showed that they have to navi-gate three main issues. They are; Control, Regulation and Negotiation, Social aspects of diet and Hopes and Fears of handling the disease. Observations showed gaps in addressing these issues. Counselling mainly relied on traditional non-dialogue based communication. This creates barriers to effective self-diet management. This research therefore recommends that dieticians use a col-laborative approach in the counselling process and address central social and emotional issues that matters to patients.
Conclusion: Overall this study showed that patients' experiences of social and emotional issues combined with the counselling context matters for patients' abilities to engage in effective dietary self-management. Further studies could clarify how to best support a collaborative counselling process including creating more flexibility in diet management.
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