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Scand J Caring Sci. 2015 Sep;29(3):521-7. doi: 10.1111/scs.12185. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

Diabetes empowerment and needs for self-management support among people with type 2 diabetes in a rural inland community in northern Sweden.

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Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



Self-management among people with T2D includes being responsible for attaining a blood sugar level within the normal range, eating healthy food, exercising and following prescriptions for medication, something that may need support. In rural areas, access to health care may be limited, and support from family members becomes important.


The aim of this study was to describe perceptions and associations of diabetes empowerment, self-management ability and needs of self-management support among people with T2D in a northern rural community of Sweden.


People with T2D (n = 159) living a rural municipality in northern Sweden answered the SWE-DES-23 questionnaire and additional questions concerning self-management and needs for self-management support.


A higher diabetes empowerment was associated with longer diabetes duration and support from healthcare professionals and relatives. Women rated a need for self-management support significantly higher than men did. Nonretired persons rated a significantly higher need for self-management support and a lower perception of support from healthcare professionals compared to retired persons. Cohabitant persons had a significantly higher perception of support from relatives and also estimated a higher need for relatives' involvement in clinical visits compared to persons living alone. Both the newly diagnosed and also those people with a diabetes duration of 10-15 years rated a higher need for group support. Higher self-awareness and readiness to change were apparent among people with short and long diabetes duration. Furthermore, self-management ability, support from healthcare professionals and from relatives and lastly diabetes duration was associated with diabetes empowerment.


Not only people newly diagnosed with T2D should be offered patient-centred group support, strengthening patient empowerment. For future, family-focused care and education and training in person-centred care among diabetes specialist nurses is recommended.


diabetes empowerment; rural; self-management ability; self-management support; type 2 diabetes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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