Interaction between diabetes specialist nurses and patients during group sessions about self-management in type 2 diabetes

Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Feb;94(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2013.10.010. Epub 2013 Nov 5.


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the interaction between diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs) and patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) during group sessions about self-management.

Methods: Ten DSNs and 44 patients were observed during group sessions about self-management, and thereafter the observations were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: The interaction was characterized by three themes: becoming empowered, approaching each other from different perspectives, and struggling for authority. The interaction was not a linear process, but rather a dynamic process with distinct episodes that characterized the content of the sessions.

Conclusion: It is important to achieve an interaction that is patient-centered, where the DSN is aware of each patient's individual needs and avoids responding to patients in a normative way. A satisfying interaction may strengthen patients' self-management, and also may strengthen the DSNs in their professional performance.

Practice implications: Authority struggles between patients and DSNs could be a prerequisite for patients to become autonomous and decisive in self-management. DSNs might benefit from an increased awareness about this issue, because they can better support patients if they do not perceive authority struggles as threats to their professional role.

Keywords: Diabetes specialist nurse; Interaction; Patient; Self-management; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / nursing*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tape Recording