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Nurs Res. 2019 Sep/Oct;68(5):374-382. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000370.

Symptom Experience of Older Adults With Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetes-Related Distress.

Author information

1
Lenore Hernandez, PhD, RN, CNS, is Graduate Student, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Diabetes, Medical Service, Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System, Martinez, California. Heather Leutwyler, PhD, RN, NP, is Professor, Department of Physiological Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, specializes in the care of older adults with schizophrenia and Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Janine Cataldo, PhD, RN, CNS, is Professor and Department Chair, Department of Physiological Nursing/Gerontology/Oncology, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco; Associate Director, John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco; and Core Faculty, University of California Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Alka Kanaya, MD, is Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and General Internist, Medical Clinics, University of California, San Francisco, specializes on clinical research in the field of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Arthur Swislocki, MD, is Endocrinologist, Martinez Veterans Healthcare Administration, California, and Veterans Healthcare Administration Clinic in Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, California, and Professor, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis. Catherine Chesla, PhD, RN, is Professor, Family Healthcare Nursing Department, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco; Fellow, American Academy of Nursing; and Thelma Shobe Endowed Chair in Ethics and Spirituality, awarded a distinguished contributor to Family Nursing Research by the International Family Nursing Conference, and awarded Excellence in Teaching-Research Mentorship by the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing and the Helen Nahm Research Lecturer Award by the University of California, San Francisco.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An older, more diverse population and longer life spans are major contributors to the anticipated tripling of Type 2 diabetes prevalence by 2050. Diabetes-related distress affects up to 40% of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and may be a greater risk for older adults due to greater prevalence of comorbidities.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this phenomenological study was to describe how diabetes-related distress in older adults (≥65 years) with Type 2 diabetes might be uniquely experienced.

METHODS:

Participants were recruited using convenience sampling and snowball sampling. Interpretive phenomenology guided the research design and analysis. With interpretive interviews, we investigated the everyday health, symptoms, and life experiences of living with Type 2 diabetes and elevated diabetes distress.

RESULTS:

Among the older adults in this study, the most prevalent symptoms were fatigue, hypoglycemia, diarrhea, pain, loss of balance, and falling. These diabetes-related symptoms led to substantial loss of independence, decreased quality of life, and constrained social lives due to restricted activities.

DISCUSSION:

Diabetes-related distress presents with some unique symptoms and responses in older adults. Improving knowledge regarding the symptom experience of older adults with diabetes-related distress may allow healthcare providers to tailor treatment and thus improve outcomes for older adults struggling with diabetes.

PMID:
31465305
PMCID:
PMC6716610
[Available on 2020-09-01]
DOI:
10.1097/NNR.0000000000000370

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