Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes: a qualitative analysis of patients' emotional reactions and views about information provision

Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Jun;53(3):269-75. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2003.07.010.


Research about diagnosis of chronic illness indicates this is an emotional time for patients. Information provision is especially salient for diabetes management. Yet current orthodoxy suggests that too much information at the time of diagnosis is unhelpful for patients. In this study, we used in-depth interviews with 40 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic (T2DM) patients in Scotland, to explore their emotional reactions about diagnosis, and their views about information provision at the time of diagnosis. Data were analysed using a thematic approach. Our results showed three main 'routes' to diagnosis: 'suspected diabetes' route; 'illness' route; and 'routine' route. Those within the 'routine' route described the most varied emotional reactions to their diagnosis. We found that most patients, irrespective of their route to diagnosis, wanted more information about diabetes management at the time of diagnosis. We suggest that practitioners would benefit from being sensitive to the route patients follow to diagnosis, and prompt, simple but detailed advice about T2DM management would be helpful for newly diagnosed patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Scotland
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires