People with type 2 diabetes' experiences of emotional support in Australian general practice: a qualitative study.

Rita McMorrow; Barbara Hunter; Nana Folmann Hempler; Kaleswari Somasundaram; Jon Emery; Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis
Diabetes distress, experienced by up to 40% of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D), is the negative emotional response to the burden of living with and managing diabetes. It is associated with suboptimal glycaemia and diabetes self-management. Research indicates that people with diabetes do not recall being asked about emotional distress by healthcare professionals.To explore the experiences, needs, and expectations of people with T2D regarding emotional support received in Australian general practice.Exploratory qualitative study in Victoria, Australia.Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to explore emotional health and support received in general practice in 12 adults with T2D who primarily attend general practice. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using the framework approach.The following three major themes were identified: (1) Beneath the surface of diabetes care; (2) Importance of GP-patient relationship; and (3) Communication counts. Participants experienced diabetes care as focused primarily on medical management rather than the emotional aspects of living with T2D. While people's experiences of diabetes care in general practice primarily focused on physical health, the GP care beyond the presenting complaint has an essential role in identifying emotional issues and enabling support. Emotional issues were more likely to be discussed and acknowledged by the GP where there was a long-standing relationship between GP and patient.Pre-existing positive GP-patient relationships and supportive communication enable people with 2TD to raise emotional issues as part of diabetes care.
ISSN 2398-3795
Published 01 Dec 2022
Volume 6
Issue 4
DOI 10.3399/BJGPO.2022.0079
Type Journal Article