Background: Integration is an emerging concept in the study of self-management and chronic illness, yet this process and how it occurs is not well understood.
Objectives: This investigation, part of a triangulated study, focused on the experience of integrating type 2 diabetes treatment recommendations into an existing lifestyle while participating in a nurse-coaching intervention.
Method: An interpretive method elicited data from nurse-coaching sessions (4), field notes, and an interview in 9 women with type 2 diabetes. The process of data reduction and analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994) was used to interpret data.
Results: The core process of integrating lifestyle change in type 2 diabetes was multifaceted and complex. Challenges to the process of integrating lifestyle change included reconciling emotions, composing a structure, striving for satisfaction, exploring self and conflicts, discovering balance, and developing a new cadence to life. These challenges required acknowledgment in order for participants to progress toward integration.
Discussion: Balance was an integral component to the experience of integration, between structure and flexibility, fear and hope, conflict and acceptance, diabetes and life. Conceptualizations identified with this investigation extend understanding of theories of integration and lifestyle change and invite the development and testing of nursing interventions.