Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objectives: To analyse the narratives of people with diabetes to inform the design of culturally congruent self-management education programmes. Methods: The study was based on quasi-naturalistic story-gathering; i.e. making real-time field notes of stories shared spontaneously in diabetes self-management education groups in a socioeconomically deprived London borough. Eighty-two adults aged 25-86, from six minority ethnic groups who were in the intervention arm of a randomized controlled trial of story-sharing, participated. Stories were translated in real time by the facilitator or group members. Ethnographic field notes were transcribed, and analysed thematically (to identify self-management domains raised by participants) and interpretively for over-arching storylines (i.e. considering how self-management domains were contextualized and made meaningful in personal narratives). Analysis was informed by both biomedical and sociological theories of self-management. Results: People with diabetes identified seven self-management domains: knowledge; diet; exercise; medication; foot care; self-monitoring; and attending check-ups. Interpretive analysis revealed eight illness storylines within which these practical issues acquired social meaning and moral worth: becoming sick; rebuilding spoiled identity; becoming a practitioner of self-management; living a disciplined and balanced life; mobilizing a care network; navigating and negotiating in the health care system; managing the micro-morality of self-management 'choices'; and taking collective action. Conclusion: Living with diabetes involves both medically recommended behaviours and complex biographical work to make sense of and cope with illness. Self-management education programmes should take closer account of over-arching storylines that pattern experience of chronic illness and recognize that some elements of self-management knowledge cannot be pre-specified in a structured curriculum. © The Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd 2011.

Original publication

DOI

10.1258/jhsrp.2010.009160

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy

Publication Date

01/01/2011

Volume

16

Pages

37 - 43