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PLoS One. 2019 Jun 5;14(6):e0217771. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217771. eCollection 2019.

Enablers and barriers to effective diabetes self-management: A multi-national investigation.

Author information

1
College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
2
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study aimed to identify the common gaps in skills and self-efficacy for diabetes self-management and explore other factors which serve as enablers of, and barriers to, achieving optimal diabetes self-management. The information gathered could provide health professionals with valuable insights to achieving better health outcomes with self-management education and support for diabetes patients.

METHODS:

International online survey and telephone interviews were conducted on adults who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The survey inquired about their skills and self-efficacy in diabetes self-management, while the interviews assessed other enablers of, and barriers to, diabetes self-management. Surveys were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

Survey participants (N = 217) had type 1 diabetes (38.2%) or type 2 diabetes (61.8%), with a mean age of 44.56 SD 11.51 and were from 4 continents (Europe, Australia, Asia, America). Identified gaps in diabetes self-management skills included the ability to: recognize and manage the impact of stress on diabetes, exercise planning to avoid hypoglycemia and interpreting blood glucose pattern levels. Self-efficacy for healthy coping with stress and adjusting medications or food intake to reach ideal blood glucose levels were minimal. Sixteen participants were interviewed. Common enablers of diabetes self-management included: (i) the will to prevent the development of diabetes complications and (ii) the use of technological devices. Issues regarding: (i) frustration due to dynamic and chronic nature of diabetes (ii) financial constraints (iii) unrealistic expectations and (iv) work and environment-related factors limited patients' effective self-management of diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Educational reinforcement using technological devices such as mobile application has been highlighted as an enabler of diabetes self-management and it could be employed as an intervention to alleviate identified gaps in diabetes self-management. Furthermore, improved approaches that address financial burden, work and environment-related factors as well as diabetes distress are essential for enhancing diabetes self-management.

PMID:
31166971
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0217771
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interest exist.

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