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Keywords:

  • chronic illness;
  • diabetes;
  • experience;
  • men;
  • participatory action research;
  • wellness

• In this paper we present the findings from the second of four Participatory Action Research (PAR) groups with men and women who have been diagnosed with type two diabetes. The findings of the men’s group are reported here.

• People who have received a diagnosis of diabetes must immediately absorb a great deal of information about how to control their diabetes, care for themselves and make lifestyle changes. In this study, we have asked men about this transition and about what it is like to live with diabetes.

• We aimed to understand how people with type two diabetes incorporate chronic illness into their lives. Utilizing the processes of PAR, we created a conducive environment for the voices of people with diabetes to be clearly heard in relation to their health.

• Men who live with type two diabetes met with a researcher and two Clinical Nurse Consultants, for two hours, once a week, for four weeks, during November 1998.

• The men expressed that diabetes had made a positive impact on their lifestyle; they viewed diabetes as part of life and not as an illness. Men chose foods with confidence; their concern about potential complications meant they chose to take better care of themselves. They were confident in their knowledge of diabetes, and while they took responsibility for themselves, being supported by their partner was helpful in managing their diabetes. They managed their life with diabetes by minimizing the intrusiveness of the disease.