Understanding Social Support Programs for Individuals Living with Type 1 Diabetes: The Perspectives of Support Program Leaders

Understanding Social Support Programs for Individuals Living with Type 1 Diabetes: The Perspectives of Support Program Leaders

Patrick James Brady, MS, Hee-Jung Song, PhD, Nadine R. Sahyoun, PhD, Mira Mehta, PhD

Abstract

Objective: Limited research is available examining community-based social support programs (SSPs) for individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). The purpose of this study was to describe SSPs characteristics and the perceived benefits and barriers to attendance from the perspective of SSPs leaders.

Research Design and Methods: This study used a qualitative study design. In-depth interviews were conducted with SSPs leaders (n = 9) in the Washington D.C. metro area. Individuals were recruited from community- and college-based programs. Using content analysis, interviews were analyzed for key themes.

Results: Programs served different populations, leading to different discussion such as college-based groups discussing alcohol use while community-based groups discussing issues with their child’s diabetes. SSPs leaders described informational support, emotional support, and peer networking as benefits of program attendance while logistics, stigma, and avoidance of diabetes as barriers to program attendance.

Conclusions: Exploring the characteristics of SSPs is essential to understanding their utilization and role in self-management and empowering individuals with T1DM. SSPs offer many benefits, and SSP attendance should be encouraged.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17125/plaid.2019.110

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Copyright (c) 2019 Patrick James Brady, Hee-Jung Song, Nadine R. Sahyoun, Mira Mehta

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.