"Diabetes? I can live with it" : a qualitative evaluation of a diabetes self-management programme : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Self-management programmes provide one form of education for people with diabetes. Evaluations of these programmes allow for a better understanding in regard to their impact and whether outcomes are met. Very little research has used qualitative methods to capture participants’ experiences of these programmes and their perception of psychological outcomes. This is the first qualitative evaluation of the Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Programme in Whangarei. It has adopted an interpretative-phenomenological approach to explore participants’ experiences of the programme and participants’ perceptions in regard to their self-efficacy and quality of life after attending a course. A sample of 7 participants with diabetes provided data via interviews 4 weeks and 3 months after attending the course. The themes that emerged from the initial interview were separated into three evaluation components. In “6 weeks sounded very long but it was worth the time”, participants discussed enrolment, benefits of the course and suggestions for future participants. In “I know what I need to do and I’m confident to do it”, participants linked the gained knowledge from the course to improvements in their self-efficacy regarding self-management behaviours, education and control of own life. In “Life is good, diabetes is just another thing to handle”, participants reflected on the impact of living with diabetes and changes to their life. An overarching theme of settling into a comfortable routine emerged from the follow-up interview. Participants reflected positively on their course and research participation. The programme was perceived to be beneficial to participants, impacting positively on increasing knowledge, self-efficacy development, behaviour changes and quality of life. The participants maintained these benefits in the short-term. These results are discussed in terms of the need for further research to evaluate if benefits are maintained in the long-term, referral process to the programme, decision-making process in regard to enrolment and impact of a support person attending the programme. Practice implications for the programme are discussed in regard to incorporating a follow-up phone call to participants after they attended a course and offering follow-up sessions with the latest information on diabetes care.