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Keywords:

  • barriers;
  • control;
  • middle-aged women;
  • qualitative research;
  • type 2 diabetes

Abstract

Aim:  Diabetes constitutes a major public health problem and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers to diabetes control of middle-aged Syrian women with type 2 diabetes.

Methods:  A qualitative approach was adopted using conventional content analysis of semi-structured interviews carried out with 12 women with type 2 diabetes in the diabetic center in Lattakia (Syria) between March 2010 and December 2010. The participants were recruited by the purposeful sampling method.

Results:  Three main themes emerged from the data analysis: (i) a poor patient–healthcare provider relationship; (ii) inadequate education; (iii) and psychosocial problems. The first theme had two subthemes: (i) relationship with doctors; and (ii) relationship with nurses. The second theme was without subthemes. The third theme consisted of six subthemes: (i) work and family responsibilities; (ii) motherhood role; (iii) lack of social support; (iv) anxiety; (v) depression; and (vi) low self-efficacy.

Conclusion:  The findings support that effective relationships can be enhanced through active listening and by opening a free channel for the flow of ideas and information between patients and healthcare providers. Additionally, providers have an important role to play in learning to identify and manage the psychosocial problems that arise in living with diabetes, so that their patients can be supported in overcoming barriers to managing their diabetes more effectively.