Meaning of self-care: Lived experiences of Iranian diabetic patients
BACKGROUND: Diabetes continuously disrupts a patient’s well-being and quality of life. Successful self-care could potentially decrease overall costs and rates of mortality and morbidity. Patients’ experiences could be used to elucidate what they believe about illness and its management. The overall aim of this study was to illuminate the meaning of self-care among diabetic patients in Southeast of Iran.
METHODS: Sixteen diabetic patients with a mean age of 34 and 10 years’ experience in self-care for their disease were interviewed. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed with a Ricoeur’s phenomenological hermeneutic method.
RESULTS: The meaning of self- care was comprehensively understood as being empowered. This can be divided into four themes: seeking information, being independent, being optimistic or pessimistic and trust in God.
CONCLUSION: The results in this study suggest that cultural and religious components could affect diabetic patients' self-care. Nurses might use patients’ religious beliefs to relieve their stress, help them to retain a sense of control, maintain hope and sense of meaning and purpose in their life.
KEYWORDS: self-care, Diabetic patients, IRAN