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Tackling diabetes as a team: co-designing healthcare interventions to engage couples living with type 1 diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Rossella Messina, Emma Berry, Davide Golinelli, Sara Donetto, Chiara Reno, Simona Moscatiello, Gilberto Laffi, Jackie Sturt

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1061
Number of pages9
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue number8
Accepted/In press2022
PublishedAug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The authors would like to thank people with diabetes, partners and the HCPs of the Unit who graciously agreed to take part with enthusiasm in the research study. A special thanks to the Director of the Endocrinology Unit and prevention and care of diabetes, Professor Uberto Pagotto (S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna) who accepted to conduct the research study in the Unit. We would like to thank the diabetes charities who collaborated in the research: Fe.D.E.R., A.D.B., D.I.a.B.O. A particular thanks to the Illustrator Emily Monteverde who made it possible to represent in a creative way the challenges experienced by couples living with type 1 diabetes. Thanks to Mette Due-Christensen and the illustrator Joel Cooper for sharing their illustrations and knowledge on the research field. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

King's Authors


Aims: Couples living with Type 1 diabetes: co-designing interventions to support them. Methods: This is a qualitative study comprising two phases. Phase I represents the exploratory phase, consisting of semi-structured interviews with persons with Type 1 diabetes (N = 16) and partners (N = 6). In the second phase, co-design principles guided workshops with healthcare professionals, persons with Type 1 diabetes, and partners (N = 7) to facilitate discussion of the key themes identified and solutions to engage couples living with Type 1 diabetes in diabetes care. Result: The key themes identified from phase I as priorities to target in future interventions were: (i) Emotional impact of diabetes and (ii) Partners’ involvement. Priority (i) captures the impact the emotional burden of diabetes management produces within couples’ relationship. Priority (ii) captures the request from partners to be more involved in diabetes management. Characteristics of the interventions suggested during the co-design phase II focused on engaging patients and partners via a counseling point in healthcare settings and tailored help for couples’ psychological support needs. Conclusions: Couples value pro-active intervention and support from their diabetes team or primary care for both the partners to live well with Type 1 diabetes.

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