Supportive and non-supportive interactions in families with a type 2 diabetes patient: an integrative review

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BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes and its management affect the patient and the close family potentially causing either psychological distress or increased sense of responsibility and collaboration in these families. Interactions between patient and family play an important role in maintaining lifestyle changes and diabetes self-management. The purpose of this integrative review was to summarise and assess published studies on the intra-family perspective of supportive and non-supportive interactions in families with a type 2 diabetes patient.

METHODS: Included in the review were published qualitative and quantitative studies that examined the intra-family perspective on supportive and non-supportive interactions. We searched the literature from 2000 to 2016 and the search strategy comprised the following databases: Cochrane, PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, PsycINFO and Psyc-ARTICLES as well as hand searching of reference lists. Quality assessment, data extraction and analysis were undertaken on all included studies.

RESULTS: We identified five eligible research papers. Employing content analysis three categories describing interactions were refined: Impact of practical action, impact of emotional involvement, and impact of communication content. Supportive interactions included encouraging communication and family collaboration in managing diet, medications, and blood glucose checking. Non-supportive interactions were visible irritation, nagging behaviour and refusing to share the burden of living with diabetes.

CONCLUSION: The findings stress the importance of including both patient and family in clinical practice to target diabetes self-management adherence and well-being of the whole family. The majority of self-management occurs within the family environment. Therefore, the intra-family perspective of supportive and non-supportive interactions should be understood and addressed as the family members are interdependent and affected by each other. Future research assessing the impact of professional support and the family function will have the potential to improve the daily life and well-being of patients with type 2 diabetes as well as the whole family.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalDiabetology & Metabolic Syndrome
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

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