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Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(6):689-96.

Patterns of diet related self-care in diabetes.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Our understanding of self-care actions can be enhanced by examining both the meanings attached to them and the context in which they take place. This article discusses patterns of diet-related self-care in a group of people with insulin-dependent diabetes. The study, based on a phenomenological perspective, consisted of 91 interviews with 34 people who discussed their everyday experience of living with diabetes. Individuals' response to the diabetes diet can be characterized on a continuum that includes strict adherence to diet to no adherence. Factors influencing how individuals responded to the diabetes diet can be grouped into three categories encompassing individual, diabetes-related and contextual influences. Many individuals sought an appropriate balance between health and well-being. When the pursuit of health did not compromise well-being adherence to diet was not a problem. When the pursuit of health conflicted with well-being individuals took liberties with the diet in order to minimize its impact. Implications for promoting self-care in people with diabetes are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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