The Lived Experience of Homeless Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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International Journal of Nursing and Health Care Science


Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease. Chronic disease self- management, diabetes self-management education, diabetes self-management education and support, and other chronic disease self-management programs help to decrease complications from chronic diseases and improve the quality of life among those experiencing these diseases in the general population. The incidence of chronic disease is high among the homeless population; furthermore, they experience an increase in morbidity and mortality rates from these diseases. The literature related to homeless individuals with diabetes and the management of their diabetes in the homeless environment is limited. The purpose of this study was to interpret the lived experience of homeless individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The study findings provide an increased understanding of how people with diabetes can self- manage their diabetes in a homeless environment. This study was a qualitative study using the principles of interpretive phenomenology based on Heideggerian philosophy. Using semi-structured interviews, the participants were asked to describe their lived experience being homeless with diabetes. There were 32 homeless individuals recruited to the study. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed. The data were analyzed in a disciplined and systematic manner according to the modified seven step process outlined by Diekelmann, Allen, and Tanner (1989). The overarching theme identified from the study was “Being homeless with diabetes is difficult” and the subthemes were “It stresses me out” and “It’s hard to take care of myself.” The findings from the study demonstrate that diabetes self-management education and diabetes self-management education and support can effectively be implemented in the homeless environment tailored to homeless individuals with diabetes with ongoing diabetes support.