The School-Based Lived Experiences of Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Yueh-Ling Wang, PhD, RN
Nursing Department, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei, Taiwan
Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Sharon Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to recognize the essence of the lived experience of being an adolescent with type 1 with diabetes at school.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to gain the insights of the health needs of adolescents with type 1 Diabetes at school.

Purpose: To investigate school-based lived experiences of adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Methods: Hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to interview 14 Taiwanese adolescents with T1DM until data saturation was reached. Data were analyzed using hermeneutic circle. Reflective journaling, peer debriefing, and member checking were performed to enhance the trustworthiness of the findings.

Results: Six themes were identified: (a) the same and different, (b) covert and overt, (c) hyper- and hypoglycemia, (d) independent and dependent, (e) derailing and being on track, and (f) dark clouds and silver lining. Multiple factors, including unaccepted disease identity, social anxiety and pressure, ignorant school personnel and classmates, and transition to independent self-management were threatening the adolescents’ health and well-being at school.

Conclusions: Interventions to facilitate the adolescents' autonomy, diabetes knowledge, disease identity, self-efficacy, and handling of situational obstacles are suggested, as well as schoolteachers’ and classmates’ understandings of T1DM and school nurses’ proactivity in caring for them.