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Title: A qualitative exploration of psychological flexibility and adjustment experiences in type 2 diabetes
Author: Dickson, Sarah Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 2229
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2016
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Objectives: To explore how adjustment to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) can be understood using psychological (in)flexibility, the theoretical model underlying acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The specific research questions are: (a) what are participant experiences of adjustment and coping in T2DM? and (b) how can participant experiences be understood in terms of the processes underlying the model of psychological (in)flexibility? Design: This interview study utilised a cross-case qualitative methodology. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 purposively recruited individuals with a diagnosis of T2DM. Interview transcripts were subjected to an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) methodology. Results: Three primary themes were identified from the IPA: (a) ‘Eating myself into diabetes’: Managing the self in relation to perceived diabetes stigma; (b) My other illness is the real problem: diabetes minimised in the context of co-morbid diagnoses; and (c) Knowledge reduces attachment to the patient-role self-story. Conclusion The interpretation of the qualitative data generated suggests that adjustment to a diagnosis of T2DM is a complex process incorporating intra-individual and systemic factors. Whilst psychological flexibility may be a useful model for understanding and supporting adjustment, interventions are required that also address wider systemic issues such as the integration of care, health-related stigma and relationships with health professionals.
Supervisor: Yates, Phil ; Karl, Anke Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: interpretative phenomenological analysis ; adjustment ; psychological flexibility ; qualitative research ; type 2 diabetes mellitus