A Case Study on the Relationship Between Family Interaction and Adherence to Diabetes Management Regimens in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
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The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in adults, the severity of its complications, and the extraordinary costs associated with its care make the management of type 2 diabetes a critical personal and public health concern. This study qualitatively explores the research question, how does interaction specific to diabetes management in the family impact adherence to diabetes management regimens in adults with type 2 diabetes.. The family is the focus of inquiry because management of type 2 diabetes occurs in social contexts. The experience of two older adult couples living with type 2 diabetes serve as a collective case study. Semi-structured interviews with the couples reveal that communication between spouses and patients facilitates improved organization of diabetes management practices and enhanced emotional management of psychosocial stresses related to living with diabetes. These processes are identified in previous research to increase the patient’s adherence to diabetes management regimens. Results also show that couples’ illness beliefs mediate how they interact in regards to diabetes management. This study concludes that communication in the form of sharing information about diabetes, reminders to patients from spouses to attend to management practices, and conflict resolution between couples is a valuable resource that helps couples meet the challenge of adhering to diabetes management regimens.