College students with diabetes: using focus groups and interviews to determine psychosocial issues and barriers to control

Diabetes Educ. Sep-Oct 1997;23(5):558-62. doi: 10.1177/014572179702300507.


College students with diabetes are at risk for improvised diabetes care due to their age, newly acquired independence, and erratic schedules. The purpose of this study was to employ focus groups and interviews to identity factors that affect the ability of these students to engage in appropriate self-care behaviors. Focus group and interview questions were developed to address variables of the Expanded Health Belief Model. Two focus groups and fifteen interviews were conducted. Barriers to successful diabetes management were time management, stress hypoglycemic reactions, diet management constraints, and inadequate finances. Several psychosocial issues that affected successful management also were identified. These issues were grouped into three categories: (1) inconveniences of diabetes management, (2) motivators to managing diabetes, and (3) social support issues. The findings show the value of formative evaluation that can then be used to design diabetes education programs to meet clients' perceived needs.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Self Care / standards*
  • Social Support*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities