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Conceptions of Diabetes and Diabetes Care in Young People With Minority Backgrounds

Journal article
Authors Åse Boman
Margareta Bohlin
Mats Eklöf
Gun Forsander
Marianne Törner
Published in Qualitative Health Research
Volume 25
Issue 1
Pages 5-15
ISSN 1049-7323
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Department of Psychology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages 5-15
Language en
Keywords adolescents / youth, at-risk; children; diabetes; health behavior; health care; phenomenography
Subject categories Applied Psychology, Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes


Adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) need stable self-care routines for good metabolic control to minimize future cardiovascular health complications. These routines are demanding, and might be particularly challenging in underprivileged groups. The aim of this study was to gain in-depth knowledge on the experience of adolescents with T1DM and a non-Swedish background regarding factors that might influence their ability to take care of themselves;in particular, factors that might influence diabetes management routines, their social situation, and the support they receive from caregivers. We interviewed 12 adolescents with T1DM and minority backgrounds. The results indicated resources and constraints in the adolescents’ social context and in the health care organization. The adolescents developed conceptions that helped to explain and excuse their self-care failures, and their successes. These findings highlight the importance of integrating T1DM as part of the individual’s personal prerequisites. We discuss implications for the organization of diabetes care for adolescents.

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