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Disclosure of type 1 diabetes status: a qualitative study in a mixed South Asian population in central England

The findings presented in this paper are drawn from a qualitative study which used in-depth interviews, facilitated by a flexible topic guide, to explore the attitudes and experiences of insulin initiation and management in amulti-ethnic population with type 1 diabetes. The 15 South Asian adults who participated were recruited, using purposive sampling,through specialist care clinics in Leicester, UK. Progressive focusing was used to identify key themes for further exploration and interpretation of the data. This paper focuses on a major theme regarding disclosure of diabetes status. Some of those interviewed described experiencing and observing negative perceptions and views about diabetes and the use of insulin. These perceptions did not deter participants from revealing their diabetes in certain situations. Disclosure of diabetes was seen as beneficial in terms of work and social occasions at which they would need to inject, and in terms of ensuring that they would receive insulin during hypoglycaemic episodes. However, disclosing diabetes was sometimes problematic in the context of marriage prospects. This paper suggests that the disclosure of diabetes is influenced by the cultural and social contexts in which people live and work. The participants in this study generally adopted a pragmatic approach to disclosure, because this facilitated selfcare activities in their social and working lives. They were less inclined towards disclosure in relation to marriage prospects. This factor may have implications for both the management of diabetes and psychological well-being.

Author(s): Kamlesh Khunti, Margaret A Stone, Naina Patel, Melanie J Davies, Helen Eborall

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