AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TYPE 1 DIABETES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL THEMES WITH A FOCUS ON METABOLIC CONTROL
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This study investigates the effect between psychological themes and type 1 diabetes with particular focus on metabolic control. A mixed method design was used to collect data on the themes of embarrassment, anger, anxiety, identity, routine and control. Semi structured interviews were used alongside questionnaires (State trait anxiety inventory, Health locus of control and a pre-interview questionnaire) to collect the data. The sample comprised of 5 female and 5 male type 1 diabetics, ranging in age between 20-54years. The participants varied in terms of medication administration. Feelings of embarrassment in public emerged when sugar levels were at hypoglycaemic levels or when administering insulin. This in some cases resulted in participants not administering medication. Medication administration may be linked to how identity is formed and developed within a T1Dm person, as it was suggested that the type of medication administration may determine the freedom a person has over their lifestyle. Anger emerged in the interviews in relation to participants having high glucose levels. The topic of routine and the ability to adapt routine suggested being linked to metabolic control alongside medication administration. From this study type 1 diabetics do suffer from feelings of embarrassment and this may delay administering insulin if in a public places. By applying this to current practice type 1 diabetics should receive psychological support if embarrassment prevents them administering their medication in public. Further research into the effect of varied methods of medication administration in relation to psychological themes possibly affecting T1Dm metabolic control may also prove beneficial.
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