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‘No one ever asks about something that actually is relevant to my life’: A qualitative study of diabetes and diabetes care experiences of young women with type 2 diabetes during their reproductive years

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15017
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Early online date9 Dec 2022
Accepted/In press28 Nov 2022
E-pub ahead of print9 Dec 2022

King's Authors


To understand the health needs, experiences, and views of women with type 2 diabetes in relation to diabetes, reproductive health experiences, and general wellbeing.
A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Thirty-six women with type 2 diabetes (median age 37 years; age ranges 20–45 years; median diabetes duration 4.5 years), recruited through social media and charities in the UK (n = 23) and Turkey (n = 13). Video interviews (n = 28) were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Email interviews (n = 8) and transcribed video interviews were analysed using Framework Analysis.
Two overarching themes were identified: (1) Perception of self and identity, (2) type 2 diabetes care is not orientated to women's needs. These themes highlight that living with type 2 diabetes was negatively perceived by the women in terms of their self-identity and reproductive health. Women reported that the diabetes care provided was often not appropriate or relevant to their health needs, and neglected issues of relevance to them. The women voiced ideas for enhancing current care to reflect their health needs, in particular the need for more emotional and peer-based support.
Living with type 2 diabetes may negatively impact how women view themselves and how they relate to the roles they identify with such as, as a partner, mother, colleague. Current healthcare systems are not orientated to the specific needs of younger women with type 2 diabetes with limited opportunities to target their diabetes care around their health and wellbeing concerns and interests.

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