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Diabetes Educ. 2007 Jul-Aug;33(4):643-9.

Thriving with diabetes: an introduction to the resiliency approach for diabetes educators.

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  • 1St Marks Diabetes Center, Division of Nutrition, 250 South 1850 East #214, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.



The purpose of this article is to introduce the resiliency counseling approach for people with type 2 diabetes, which can be used to enhance standard diabetes education programs. Why do some people with type 2 diabetes thrive in the face of adversity and disruption while others remain apathetic or succumb to destructive behaviors? Many researchers focus on the risk factors and barriers to diabetes management rather than explore the resilient qualities that keep people thriving. Optimal diabetes care requires an emotionally healthy patient.


A review of the available literature on resilience and resiliency theory is included. Resiliency is defined as the experience of being disrupted by change, opportunities, adversity, stressors, or challenges and, after some disorder, accessing personal gifts and character strengths to grow stronger through the disruption.


Research in a diabetes population suggests that resiliency training in addition to standard diabetes education in people with type 2 diabetes improved coping with diabetes-related stress, having fun in life, helping others, and feeling trustworthy.


Psychosocial and physiological improvements can help people with diabetes thrive instead of succumb to despair. Interventions to foster resilience among people with type 2 diabetes have the potential to make an important contribution to reducing the risk of complications and increasing positive life outcomes. Diabetes educators using the resiliency approach in tandem with standard diabetes education programs can assist people with type 2 diabetes to become more self-directed in their diabetes care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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