E.CHEN1, W.S.W. SOON1, K. GRIVA2, H. SMITH2, S.K.W WONG1
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics1, Nanyang Technological University2
There is a rising trend of young adults being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Young adults have been found to have poorer glycaemic control and diabetes outcomes than older patients, and poorer self-care behaviours play an important contributing role.
Our study aims to explore the barriers and facilitators of behaviour change in young adults with type 2 diabetes
Maximal variation sampling was employed to include participants of varied age, ethnicity and marital status. We conducted In-depth interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire. Thematic analysis was applied, identifying the main themes that emerged during coding and conceptualisation of data.
Twenty-two patients aged 22-39 years were interviewed from two NHG polyclinics. A framework of behavioural change was identified that involved a three-phase change process: desire to change, triggers of change and sustained change. A desire to change might not result in any change without triggering events, while the progress of change might be negated, reverting one’s effort to the pre-change stage or sustained with maintenance of self-care behaviours. Desire to change was related to core values and beliefs, while sustained change was supported by success experiences, willingness to form new habits, having social support and incorporating self-care into daily routines.
This study provides an understanding of the barriers and facilitators of behaviour change faced by young adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The recognition of the process of change experienced by patients would help guide clinicians in working with patients collaboratively for desirable transitions.