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Keywords:

  • adolescent;
  • Iran;
  • normal life;
  • support system;
  • type 1 diabetes mellitus

Abstract

Without sufficient support, type 1 diabetes mellitus often disturbs patients' normal lives. This study describes and explores the support that Iranian adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus experienced. Semistructured interviews were conducted with ten adolescents, seven family members, one dietitian, one nurse, and one school nurse. Participants were chosen using purposive sampling from two teaching hospitals and one high school in two urban areas of Iran. Using standard procedures for content analysis, three main themes were identified: maintaining a normal life; receiving tangible, informational, and emotional support from the family and society; and advancement of life toward normalization. The cornerstone of maintaining a normal life for adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus is to adopt an active role in taking care of themselves within their systems of support.