A qualitative interview study of people living with well-controlled Type 1 diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Debbie M Smith
  • Peter J. Donnelly
  • John Howe
  • Terry Mumford
  • Alan Campbell
  • Angela Ruddock
  • Stephanie Tierney
  • Alison Wearden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-887
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2018
While many people with Type 1 diabetes find it difficult to achieve recommended blood glucose levels, a minority do achieve good control. Our study was conceived by patient and public (PP) partners and sought to learn about experiences of people living with well-controlled diabetes.

A collaboration between academic health psychologists and five PP partners with experience of diabetes, who were trained to conduct and analyse semi-structured interviews. Fifteen adults with well-controlled Type 1 diabetes were interviewed about the history of their diabetes and their current self-management practices. Interviews were subjected to inductive thematic analysis.

Eight sub-themes were arranged into two overarching themes, ‘facing up to diabetes’ and ‘balance leads to freedom’. Participants described a process of acceptance and mastery of diabetes, and talked about how they gained a deeper understanding of bodily processes through trial and error.

Based on the experiences of people with well-controlled Type 1 diabetes, interventions for people with this condition should encourage acceptance of the diagnosis and increasing confidence to experiment with behaviours (trial and error) to encourage ‘mastery’ of self-management. The research collaboration described here is an example of best practice for future researchers wanting to actively engage PP partners.

    Research areas

  • semi-structured interviews, well-controlled glucose levels, qualitative research, patient and public involvement, Type 1 diabetes, thematic analysis


Related faculties, schools or groups

External organisations

  • University of Manchester
  • University of Warwick

View graph of relations