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Living with diabetes - development of learning patterns over a 3-year period

Kneck, Å., Fagerberg, I., Eriksson, L. E. ORCID: 0000-0001-5121-5325 & Lundman, B. (2014). Living with diabetes - development of learning patterns over a 3-year period. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 9(1), article number 24375. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v9.24375


Background: Learning involves acquiring new knowledge and skills, and changing our ways of thinking, acting, and feeling. Learning in relation to living with diabetes is a lifelong process where there is limited knowledge of how it is experienced and established over time. It was considered important to explore how learning was developed over time for persons living with diabetes.

Aim: The aim of the study was to identify patterns in learning when living with diabetes, from recently being diagnosed, and over a 3-year period.

Materials and methods: A longitudinal qualitative descriptive design was used. Thirteen participants, with both type I and type II diabetes, were interviewed at three different occasions during a 3-year period. Qualitative content analysis was used in different steps in order to distinguish patterns.

Findings: Five main patterns of learning were identified. Two of the patterns (I and II) were characterized by gradually becoming comfortable living with diabetes, whereas for one pattern (IV) living with diabetes became gradually more difficult. For pattern V living with diabetes was making only a limited impact on life, whereas for Pattern III there was a constant management of obstacles related to illness. The different patterns in the present study showed common and different ways of learning and using different learning strategies at different timespans.

Conclusion: The present study showed that duration of illness is not of importance for how far a person has come in his own learning process. A person-centered care is needed to meet the different and changing needs of persons living with diabetes in relation to learning to live with a lifelong illness.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Activities of daily living, chronic illness, knowledge, problem-solving self-care, self-management
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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