Walking the Tightrope: The Lived Experience of Insulin Pump Use in Emerging Adulthood

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:25 PM

Donna G. Hood, PhD, RN
Division of Nursing, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

Learning Objective 1: Design and implement transition services for emerging adults with type 1 diabetes who use insulin pump technology.

Learning Objective 2: Understand the unique challenges and strategies of the emerging adult with type 1 diabetes.

Emerging adults (ages 18-25) with type 1 diabetes are a vulnerable population as they transition from the family home and their pediatric healthcare providers and deal with multiple competing demands. There is very little literature addressing those in this developmental group who use insulin pump technology for diabetes self-management. Listening to the voices of emerging adults who use insulin pump technology will increase our understanding of their experience and will give health care providers the opportunity to develop evidence based practices based on their lived experiences. This qualitative research, using the hermeneutic phenomenological approach described by Max van Manen, provides a deeper understanding of the day-to-day journey of the emerging adult. Four themes represent the essences that were ultimately viewed as strategies used by emerging adults as they crossed from adolescence to adulthood with type 1 diabetes and an insulin pump. This journey is presented metaphorically as learning to walk a tightrope.