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Supporting disengaged children and young people living with diabetes to self-care: a qualitative study in a socially disadvantaged and ethnically diverse urban area

Sharpe, D., Rajabi, M., Harden, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8621-5066 , Moodambail, A. & Hakeem, V. (2021). Supporting disengaged children and young people living with diabetes to self-care: a qualitative study in a socially disadvantaged and ethnically diverse urban area. BMJ Open, 11(10), e046989. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046989


OBJECTIVE: To explore how to enhance services to support the self-care of children and young people (CYP) clinically considered 'disengaged' by diabetes services.

DESIGN: Qualitative study.

SETTING: Two diabetes clinics in an ethnically diverse and socially disadvantaged urban area in the UK. Eligible participants were CYP living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes aged between 10 and 25 years who did not attend their last annual hospital appointment.

PARTICIPANTS: 22 CYP (14 female and 8 male) aged between 10 and 19 years old took part. The sample was diverse in terms of ethnicity, age at diagnosis, family composition and presence of diabetes among other family members.

DATA COLLECTION: Semistructured interviews.

DATA ANALYSIS: Data were analysed thematically.

RESULTS: Analysis of participant accounts confirmed the crucial importance of non-medicalised care in CYP diabetes care. A life plan was considered as important to participants as a health plan. Participants valued the holistic support provided by friends, family members and school teachers. However, they found structural barriers in their health and educational pathways as well as disparities in the quality of support at critical moments along the life course. They actively tried to maximise their well-being by balancing life priorities against diabetes priorities. Combined, these features could undermine participants engagement with health services where personal strategies were often held back or edited out of clinical appointments in fear of condemnation.

CONCLUSION: We demonstrate why diabetes health teams need to appreciate the conflicting pressures experienced by CYP and to coproduce more nuanced health plans for addressing their concerns regarding identity and risk taking behaviours in the context of their life-worlds. Exploring these issues and identifying ways to better support CYP to address them more proactively should reduce disengagement and set realistic health outcomes that make best use of medical resources.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:
Publisher Keywords: Aeroelasticity, Gust identification, Inverse problem, Regularisation, Cubic B-spline
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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