Living with diabetes: Perceptions of well-being


  • Berit Lundman,

    Corresponding author
    • Dept. of Medicine, Sundsvall Hospital, S-851 86 Sundsvall, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Berit Lundman, RN, is a doctoral student in the Department of Advanced Nursing, University of Umeå, Sweden, and is associated with the Department of Medicine, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden. Kjell Asplund, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Umeå. Astrid Norberg, PhD, RN, is a professor in the Department of Advanced Nursing, University of Umeå.

  • Kjell Asplund,

  • Astrid Norberg


A group of 192 adult insulin-dependent diabetic patients free from manifest late complications were asked, through mailed questionnaires, about the influence of the disease on their daily life and about their feelings of well-being. Well-being was measured using 11 semantic differentials comprised of bi-polar adjectives. Only a minority of patients reported that the disease caused them considerable problems in daily life. The greatest problems occurred in connection with regularity in daily life (26% of subjects) and diet management (24%). Although a large proportion of the patients were very concerned about retinopathy (45%), other complications were of great concern for only 10 to 25%. Younger age was significantly associated with more problems in daily life and more worries about complications. There also were associations between younger age and feelings of anxiety, lack of freedom, insecurity, and reduced self-esteem. Most of the patients, both men and women, had a general feeling of well-being. Living with insulin-dependent diabetes appears to be quite consistent with experiencing well-being and feeling fit provided that no severe complications have developed.